The popular photo and video app and its social network parent have become more intertwined. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were not into it.
Of all the CEOs to join Facebook via an acquisition — and there have been many — Instagram’s Kevin Systrom has always been considered the best fit with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Not only were they both great at building products, but they had developed a mutually beneficial relationship.
It has gone smoothly for six years, as Systrom and his partner Mike Krieger kept building Instagram — both the company and the product — without much interference from the corporate overlords at Facebook. Operating with this critical wide autonomy, which was promised when the photo app was acquired in 2012 for $1 billion, Instagram was much cleaner and simpler and definitely more hip than Facebook’s bloated “blue app.” It even opened its own office down the road from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters, complete with its own library and coffee shop from Blue Bottle, where Systrom is an investor.