As Facebook saw a threat in young people departing the network for Snapchat, a rival photo-sharing network, Instagram was quick to shift and recreate one of Snapchat's key features of online stories. Now, he said, they are ready for their next chapter.
What are Systrom's and Krieger's future plans?But in the six years they've continued at Instagram post-acquisition, they have built a money-making giant. "We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next", Systrom wrote.
So what's behind the departures?
Systrom and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had historically gotten along, but they had diverging opinions at times.
The founders of Instagram plan to step down from parent company Facebook in the coming weeks. It started by building simple products that solved universal problems.
Still, any risk from the "over-Facebookization" of Instagram would take time to play out, said Mr. Parker.
The departures raise questions about Instagram's future at a time when Facebook faces its most sustained set of crises in its 14-year history.
The pair had kept a balance between the two brands while relying on Facebook's resources to grow the product.
Instagram's founders' leaving comes at a time when Instagram is attempting to become more of an e-commerce platform, with a newly announced shopping app. It lacked the clutter and noise that had made Facebook bloated in many people's eyes.
The app's latest product, IGTV, has been slow to gain traction. Algorithmic ordering of the timeline. and ads, so many ads.
Brian Acton, the other WhatsApp founder, left Facebook in 2017.
Indeed not. In fact it echoes what happened with WhatsApp.
Analysts of that move also spoke of clashes with Facebook.
That led to a reshuffling of Facebook's executive ranks, increasing Zuckerberg's ability to influence day-to-day operations.
Facebook has been under intense pressure this year over the issues of safeguarding customer data and the misuse of its platforms by those wishing to spread fake news, including for political ends. Facebook's stock has taken a dramatic plunge in the wake of the scandal with Cambridge Analytica, which used an online quiz to harvest and collate Facebook users' information online. Systrom and Krieger popularized photo filters and camera lenses, spurring a wave of copycat apps for the iPhone and Android-based smartphones.
It was also ad-free. The firm believes the app will bring in only $662.1 million this year, compared to its earlier forecast of $1.03 billion.
The camera-oriented social network is, according to a Bloomberg analysis, now worth around $100 billion.