Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger did not say why they were leaving their positions as chief executive officer and chief technical officer, respectively, of the photo-sharing service, just that they were leaving to explore their "curiosity and creativity again".
Having the Instagram founders walk out the door - shortly after the WhatsApp founders grew frustrated and did the same - does not project the image of a Facebook on sure footing. On the other hand, his move to Instagram could also be Zuckerberg doing "succession planning for Kevin and Mike" to lead the picture and video sharing platform moving forward.
"Instagram has more heavy usage of Stories, so that's an area of continued growth opportunity because the effective levels of monetization in Stories are lower", Mr. Wehner said. "And a lot of people didn't necessarily make the connection between Instagram and Facebook".
The social network spent $19bn on the chat app in 2014, and Instagram's co-founder is said to have become concerned that he had sold out too soon. But because of Facebook's dependence on automation, the more ads you get, the spottier quality becomes - and the greater the likelihood of repulsing users.
Given Facebook's slowing growth and newer challenges, the company's leadership saw Instagram as the next obvious golden goose. It is less crowded than the main Facebook app, and perceived to be a kinder social network.
Mr Koum's departure sparked an executive reshuffle that saw the tightening of Mr Zuckerberg's control over operations.
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"Those are signs that [Zuckerberg] definitely wants more Facebook influence on Instagram", Williamson said. They both shared the same photo, a shot of themselves grinning in front of a huge team at Instagram HQ.
"The share of Instagram ads placements is clearly on the rise, reaching 43 percent in March 2018".
Instagram, meanwhile, has remained a bright spot for the company.
It comes after months of chaos and scandals for Facebook. There are some popular features on Facebook that Instagram may be able to adapt.
Still, any risk from the "over-Facebookization" of Instagram would take time to play out, said Mr. Parker.
"I see Mark [Zuckerberg] practice a tremendous amount of restraint in giving us the freedom to run, but the reason why I think he gives us the freedom to run is because when we run, it typically works", Systrom told Recode last June.