As far as social media applications go, Instagram is definitely a rising star. The application released sometime in 2010, and Facebook recognizing its great potential, acquired it a couple of years later. Since then, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have been working with the social networking giant, and Instagram has only flourished during this period, nearing the 1 billion users milestone. However, Systrom and Krieger have decided to move on, and are leaving Facebook.

Speaking on the topic, Systrom said:

We’re planning on taking some time off 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; that’s what we plan to do.

Their departure does not come at a particularly opportune moment of Facebook. The company is going through some rather turbulent times, and is facing heat from various quarters, over issues ranging from careless handling of user data, to allegations of discrimination based on gender and race, and so on.

Commenting on their departure, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said:

I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.

Well, the last time the duo built something, Facebook ended up shelling out around $1 Billion for it. To be fair though, Instagram has also allowed Facebook to strengthen its grasp over image based social networking, getting ahead of disruptive startups such as Instagram.

Meanwhile, judging from Systrom’s statement, it does not look like they are planning to hang up their boots anytime soon. However, any future plans if already present, remain a mystery. Facebook on the other had, will now have to contend with finding a suitable replacement for the duo, along with putting out all other small fires that are currently burning around it.

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