Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger Are Leaving Instagram

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FILE PHOTO: Instagram founders Mike Krieger (L) and Kevin Systrom attend the 16th annual Webby Awards in New York May, 21 2012.

The co-founders of the social media giant Instagram are reportedly leaving the photo-sharing app, six years after selling it to Facebook for $1bn (£760m).

Meanwhile, Facebook user growth is slowing: The platform added 22 million daily active users globally during the most recent quarter, compared to 41 million during the same period a year ago. In July, it unveiled a new metric for analysts, touting that 2.5 billion people use at least one of its apps - Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger - each month.

"We believe their departure comes as a surprise given Instagram's success and its growing importance within Facebook", said Doug Anmuth in a JP Morgan note to clients on Tuesday.

"We're planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again". "Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs". But eventually, they became frustrated with Zuckerberg's increased daily involvement with Instagram, according to the Times.

The article, citing anonymous sources with direct knowledge of the matter, said the two informed Instagram's leadership team of their decision on Monday.

The firm was quite deliberately treated like a separate company owned by Facebook, rather than merely a department or division, because it was Instagram's culture that made it such a valuable acquisition.

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Instagram has been a key part of the Facebook empire as younger users shun the original social network and move into different applications.

The duo now serve as the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app's CEO and CTO respectively.

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.

There had been reports of tension between the pair and Facebook, and the departures add to what has been a troubling year for the parent company.

Systrom, now 34, created the app in 2010 with Krieger, now the outgoing "chief technical officer", when they were students at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley. It's unclear what Instagram's future will look like without the original duo at the helm.

"Those are signs that [Zuckerberg] definitely wants more Facebook influence on Instagram", Williamson said. WhatsApp's Status, which is similar, is used by 450 million, while Facebook Stories was used by only 150 million in May this year.

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