Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom has deleted all the photos he posted on the app over the past 18 months
- Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom curiously has no photos on his profile since May 2018. A look at the internet archive's Wayback Machine shows that Systrom deleted his 14 most recent photos sometime in the last five months.
- Systrom helped launch Instagram in 2010 and sell it to Facebook in 2012, but left his role as CEO in September 2018 alongside fellow cofounder Mike Krieger amid "growing tensions" with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- It's unclear what triggered Systrom to delete photos and no longer post on the app he helped build,
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The addictiveness of Instagram is well-documented, but one person who might be immune to the app's lure is its former CEO.
Kevin Systrom was one of the two people behind the creation of Instagram in 2010. As the platform has grown over the years, reaching more than 1 billion users, Systrom actively documented his life with photos of his girlfriend-turned-wife, the birth of his daughter, his penchant for biking and traveling, and his run-ins with celebrities like Hillary Clinton and Selena Gomez.But if you take a look at Systrom's Instagram, it appears he's mysteriously been MIA from the platform for nearly 18 months. Currently, his last post is from May 2018: a selfie with his baby daughter, Freya, on a walk in San Francisco.
While the profile's current state may give off the appearance Systrom hasn't posted anything in a while, a look with digital archiver Wayback Machine tells a different story. A snapshot of Systrom's Instagram from June shows that Systrom had posted 14 photos since the May 2018 post with his daughter. But by October - the next time Wayback Machine captured an archive of Systrom's Instagram - those photos have disappeared.
The photos that were deleted from Systrom's Instagram include posts showing him speaking at Instagram events, his statement on his departure from Facebook along with fellow cofounder Mike Krieger, and the announcement that Adam Mosseri was taking over as head of Instagram. The most recent deleted photo is of Systrom posing in front of a small jet.
As for Systrom's family members, the last post on the Instagram account for his dog, a golden retriever named Dolly, is from August 2018. While Systrom's wife Nicole keeps a more active Twitter presence, the Instagram cofounder himself hasn't appeared in a photo since May 2017.
His reason for being absent from Instagram is not clear, and Systrom could not be reached through multiple platforms to provide a comment.But it's important to note that Systrom's exit from Instagram was not an amicable one. Systrom and Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 when the photo-sharing platform was only an 11-person company. Systrom served as CEO of Instagram for six years, but both cofounders announced their departures from their roles in September 2018, saying in a statement they were "taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again."
Reports soon emerged that the breakup came after "growing tensions" between the Instagram cofounders and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the "direction" of the photo app. Someone at Facebook told NBC News that Systrom had been "super-pissed-off" at Zuckerberg as of late, and reports indicated the two had "clashed" over "the extent of Instagram's autonomy."
Sources later told Business Insider that there's been "a long buildup of friction" between the design-focused Instagram and ever-adjusting Facebook. "Kevin focuses a lot on visual feel and getting things perfect, while Facebook prefers iteration," a source said at the time.
"No one ever leaves a job because everything is awesome," Systrom later said in October 2018. "To be clear, when you leave something, sometimes it's because it's incompatible with what you wanna do, or things change or whatever, but in this case there are no hard feelings at all. I'm excited to do something new and I think Instagram's in a really, really good place."
Last we heard from Systrom, he had participated in a $30 million funding round for a presentation software startup named Pitch. However, there's been no word what Systrom's next venture will be.