MENLO PARK — The creators of Instagram are stepping down six years after the popular photo-sharing app was acquired by Facebook.

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced the split in a statement Monday evening.

“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” said Systrom, referring to co-founder Mike Krieger. “We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.”

Before going public in 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for the then-eye-watering sum of $1 billion. The deal is now widely viewed as one of the social network’s biggest success stories, especially in light of a recent Bloomberg Intelligence report that found Instagram could be worth as much as $100 billion as a standalone company.

Systrom said he and Krieger are planning to take 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,” Systrom continued. “That’s what we plan to do.”

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