Photo tweeters, be warned. The smartphone app Instagram turned off a feature that allowed easier photo viewing for Twitter users, in a move that pushes the two popular tech platforms farther apart.
On Wednesday Twitter said in a blog post that users are likely to notice that Instagram photos shared on the San Francisco-based microblogging service appear cropped incorrectly because the Facebook-owned service has disabled the integration between the two services, writes the Denver Post.
It is obvious that the decision appeared to take Twitter by surprise, judging by the company’s reaction.
“Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter. Issues include cropped images. This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped,” said the Twitter Status.
Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom has confirmed that the photo sharing company has “changed the way it integrates with Twitter.” He also said that there are plans to stop embedding Instagram photos on Twitter’s site altogether.
He offered an official statement on the move, saying, “A handful of months ago, we supported Twitter cards because we had a minimal Web presence.”
“We’ve since launched several improvements to our website that allow users to directly engage with Instagram content through likes, comments, hash tags and now we believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives,” he added.
“Sometimes you need an axe.” That was the caption on one of the last photos that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom posted to Twitter, this summer, before his company’s acquisition by Facebook. (He hasn’t tweeted since.)
Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram in September. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in Facebook’s share price.
This was the first move on the Instagram/Twitter war. Social networks are growing increasingly protective of their platforms as competition rises for users and for advertising revenue.
Twitter has, in recent months, tightened its rules on what third-party applications are able to do, in a move that has been interpreted by some observers as an attempt to keep users on its platform, as it is said in the Telegraph.
Nevertheless this very change was clearly a move by Instagram, which has some 100 million users, to route photo viewers to its own website and to build more complete profiles of its users, where it has the potential to make money from ads or other mechanisms, instead of letting Twitter get the benefits.
Instagram rose to stardom with the help of Twitter, but has distanced itself from the one-to-many text messaging service since being acquired by leading social network Facebook
However Twitter is not giving in. Mashable writes that some reports say the company has been working on its own Instagram-style photo filters for eventual inclusion in its mobile apps. the current rumour has it that co-founder Jack Dorsey is testing those filters on his own (suddenly photo-filled) feed.