Instagram is no longer allowing Twitter users to view its photographs in tweets in an effort to drive more people away from the rival social media company to its own website.
Kevin Systrom, the CEO of the photo-sharing service that was snapped up by Facebook earlier this year, announced today that Instagram has turned off support for 'Twitter cards,' signaling a deepening rift between two of the web's biggest brands. Twitter users started to complain earlier this week in public messages that Instagram photos were not displaying properly on Twitter's website.
To clarify, Mr Systrom released a statement saying: 'We believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives.'
The rivalry between Facebook and Twitter was perhaps not helped when Facebook outbid Twitter to purchase Instagram in a cash-and-stock deal valued at the time at $1 billion. (Due to Facebook's stock drop, the acquisition eventually closed in September for roughly $715 million.) Facebook wasn't the first to block, though. In July, Twitter blocked Instagram from using its data to help new Instagram users find friends, so perhaps we shouldn't be shocked. But Zuckerberg did state, in his blog post after the acquisition: " 'We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience,' Mr Zuckerberg wrote. 'We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks."
Strictly speaking, users can still do this. The only feature being disabled is the ability to view it in the tweet stream (photo left). In the future, users can upload to Twitter and a link will be posted, allowing the user to click and view the content on Instagram itself. One has to wonder if this is really about feuding with Twitter, or more about Instagram transcending mobile to create a more web-based network. Until recently, unless you were on your phone, you couldn't interact with anything on the Instagram site, which you now can.
Knowing that you Instagram pictures will no longer be embedded in your tweets, will this affect your use of either platform?