Systrom and Krieger notified the photo-sharing app's leadership team and Facebook on Monday about their decision to leave, Instagram said.
As part of the "old-school in-crowd of Facebook", Mosseri may have exerted pressure for Instagram to do more for Facebook to counter declining teen usage on the core Facebook platform, a source told TechCrunch.
"Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents", Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement. You could even argue that Instagram was positioned as an anti-Facebook, although there has been a notable creep of ads and Facebook-style branding in recent updates. Several features are now available across both the Facebook and Instagram platforms, including the Stories format-disappearing photos and videos-and their respective video sections, Instagram's IGTV and Facebook Watch.
The Instagram co-founders are the latest in a series of executives who have departed Facebook as the company experiences growing pains, including a data breach that drew Congressional scrutiny.
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"In a sense, Facebook, which was once itself an upstart, has now become the establishment", said Stephen Allan, world-wide chairman and CEO of Mediacom, a media agency owned by ad giant WPP PLC.
Following the WhatsApp departures a series of executives increased Zuckerberg's ability to influence day-to-day running of the previously relatively independent entities. Now, he said, they are ready for their next chapter.
Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak does not see the departure of Instagram's founders as anything more than an ongoing trend that happens across the tech industry. Crucially, Instagram is popular with teens and young people, a demographic Facebook has had trouble keeping.
Shares of Snap, an Instagram rival, rose more than 2 percent on the news. Instagram has also largely remained insulated from the issues plaguing its parent company, and it continues to grow.
The optics are bad, first off. Facebook is trying to project confidence that it's moving past its two years of near constant crises involving foreign propaganda infecting the social network, of people and government officials using Facebook and its WhatsApp app to incite violence, and realisations stemming from this year's Cambridge Analytica scandal that Facebook may not be worthy of people's trust with their private time and digital lives.