Facebook at risk of smothering its golden goose

Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger will apparently leave in a matter of weeks

Instagram, purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1bn (£760m) in cash and stock, has more than a billion users.

Not a great deal.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Now, we're ready for our next chapter.

There was no animosity in the blog post.

If an increase in CEO meddling is behind Systrom and Krieger's departure, expect future iterations of Instagram to be brought more explicitly into the fold with Facebook. "I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it".

Zuckerberg described the two as "extraordinary product leaders" and said he wished them all the best and was looking forward to seeing what they build next.

So what's behind the departures?

The founders of Instagram on Monday announced they will step down from the popular social media company.

In the case of Krieger and Systrom, it was an issue of independence and control, Bloomberg reported.

A similar conflict was also seen regarding pushing Facebook notifications inside Instagram and a Facebook button inside Instagram's settings. Chris Cox, a Zuckerberg ally, gained oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram alongside the main Facebook app. Adam Mosseri, a 10-year Zuckerberg veteran and former head of Facebook's news feed, was inserted as head of product for Instagram.

So what will become of Instagram now?

Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, prepared for an announcement, June 19, about IGTV in San Francisco.

Instagram has some inherent advantages over Facebook as far as content is concerned. But because it wasn't organised around sharing posts, nor showing people more of what was likely to give them dopamine hits, Instagram was a model of a different, potentially more optimistic route for an Internet hangout.

The app's latest product, IGTV, has been slow to gain traction. Algorithmic ordering of the timeline. and ads, so many ads. Facebook recently disclosed that it had deleted hundreds of pages across Instagram and its main social network linked to global misinformation campaigns meant to disrupt elections.

Indeed not. In fact it echoes what happened with WhatsApp.

Systrom and Krieger might be gone, but Facebook can't afford to let the golden egg crack.

That led to a reshuffling of Facebook's executive ranks, increasing Zuckerberg's ability to influence day-to-day operations.

In March, in the week Mr Zuckerberg apologised for the handling of a historic data breach, Facebook ended $58bn (£44bn) lower in value.

Systrom and Krieger met through Stanford University and worked separately in Silicon Valley before forming Instagram in 2010.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal that was conducted before Monday's announcement, Kevin makes clear he has no regrets about having sold Instagram to Facebook back in 2012. COO Sheryl Sandberg also noted ads have "expanded quite nicely" to Instagram, and it represents a "very healthy part" of growth, which is expected to continue.

Systrom's fortune is valued at $1.4 billion by Forbes. There are no definitive figures, ranging from $100m to $500m.

The want to "explore our curiosity and creativity again", their statement said.

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