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Instagram co-founders to leave Facebook amid reported tensions with Mark Zuckerberg

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced in a statement that they would be leaving Facebook, which acquired the company in 2012. (Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images)

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced Monday night that they would be leaving Facebook, which acquired the company in 2012.

"Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter," Systrom said in a statement posted on Instagram's blog.

The move follows the pair's reportedly growing tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, anonymous sources told the New York Times.

Systrom, 34, and Krieger, 32, informed the photo-sharing app's leadership team and Facebook of their decision on Monday. They did not disclose their reasons for leaving with the company.

Why was there tension?

Systrom, Instagram's CEO, and Krieger, the company's chief technical officer, met in 2010 and built Instagram from the ground up.

Six years ago, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

The pair had kept a balance between the two brands while relying on Facebook's resources to grow the product. But eventually, they became frustrated with Zuckerberg's increased daily involvement with Instagram, according to the Times.

Facebook "has become more reliant on Instagram in planning" for its future, according the Times' sources.

What are Systrom's and Krieger's future plans?

The statement didn't elaborate on the duo's exact plans.

"We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again," Systrom wrote. "Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do."

"We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion," he continued. "We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next," Systrom wrote.

Their departure is expected in the "coming weeks," Business Insider reported.

What did Zuckerberg say?

“Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents,” Zuckerberg said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it.”

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