Kevin Systrom (R) and Mike Krieger continued to run Instagram after it was acquired by Facebook in 2012[/caption] The co-founders of photo-sharing giant Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, are both leaving the firm. Mr Systrom, chief executive, said they were departing to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1bn (£760m) in cash and stock and has more than one billion users. 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. Mr Systrom, 34, and Mr Krieger, 32, started the image sharing site in 2010, and continued to run the service after it was acquired by Facebook. What have the pair said? Not a great deal. They reportedly only told the Facebook leadership on Monday so the departure appears pretty sudden. In a blog post, Mr Systrom said: “We’re now ready for our next chapter. “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.” There was no animosity in the blog post. Mr Systrom said the pair both remained “excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook”. https://twitter.com/mikeyk/status/1044471743178465281 How has Facebook responded? CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that Instagram reflected the founders’ “combined creative talents”. “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”In March, in the week Mr Zuckerberg apologised for the handling of a historic data breach, Facebook ended $58bn (£44bn) lower in value. This, along with increased pressure from competitor platforms, appears to have led Mr Zuckerberg and his core executives to exert more control. It ran counter to the business model the pair had become used to. Mr Systrom had earlier praised the “tremendous freedom” Mr Zuckerberg had allowed since the takeover. They are not the first to jump ship Indeed not. In fact it echoes what happened with WhatsApp. Its chief executive and co-founder Jan Koum said in April he would quit the popular messaging service he co-founded in 2009 and sold to Facebook in 2014. Oddly, Mr Koum’s departure statement is also a direct echo of Mr Systrom’s. Analysts of that move also spoke of clashes with Facebook. Mr Koum’s departure sparked an executive reshuffle that saw the tightening of Mr Zuckerberg’s control over operations.