As if Facebook didn’t have enough headaches, here comes one from what many see as its one untarnished property. Although it isn’t official yet, insiders report that Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the duo that created and, until now, ran the social networking marvel that is Instagram, have resigned and will be leaving the company in the coming weeks. In addition to putting into question the future of Instagram itself, it also casts doubts on the stability and sustainability of that other social network giant, Facebook.
Instagram began oddly enough more like a Foursquare clone. Created by Systrom as a location check-in app called Burbn (perhaps a poor choice in name), Instagram took its present form after Systrom met Krieger, himself a heavy Burbn user, in 2010. The rest, as they say, is history, and a well-documented one at that.
Instagram’s impact in the digital age is just as significant as Facebook and Twitter. Zuckerberg definitely saw that and in a perhaps rare stroke of business genius decided to acquire Instagram rather than build its own competing network. That came in handy when Snapchat was on the verge of dethroning Facebook in millennials’ hearts. Now Instagram remains at the top while Snapchat’s future is shaky. The tables, however, may soon turn.
Systrom’s and Krieger’s departure, Instagram’s CEO and CTO, respectively, leaves a leadership vacuum in the company. This will naturally raise questions about the service’s future, depending on who will be left to hold the reins.
More importantly, it puts Facebook yet again under a negative life. Instagram has so far remained the one shining beacon in the social giant’s longest storm. Losing yet more top execs, after the departure of WhatsApp founder, only reinforces Facebook’s image as a sinking ship that former allies are quickly abandoning.