Instagram has declared war with Twitter. The microblogging site is reportedly building Instagram-like features, which would hurt the photo-sharing network’s online presence, and now it appears this move from Instagram is something of a response. Twitter confirmed today that Instagram has disabled its integration with Twitter cards, which has reverted the look of Instagram photos to a cropped appearance.
This is what Twitter had to say in its statement:
“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.”
The change won’t really affect your consumption of Instagram photos on Twitter, and they can still be viewed through Twitter by expanding the tweet. And the tweets will still include a link back to the image on Instagram. The format won’t be as friendly or easy on the eyes, but the larger implication here is that Twitter and Instagram aren’t getting along, which is concerning given their dual roles in communicating world events.
Fortunately there isn’t too much to be concerned about just yet. Today at the Le Web conference, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, told the audience that the product will remain integrated with Twitter although the extent of this may be more limited than it used to be. The reason is similar to Twitter’s own reasons for restricting its API this past year: Instagram wants to keep eyeballs on its own site, and limit users from viewing Instagram images through third-party platforms (which in this case is Twitter).
“Really it’s about where do you go to consume that image, to interact with that image. We want that to be on Instagram,” Systrom said at Le Web.
Despite how the media is painting the picture of bad blood between Twitter and Instagram, Systrom says it’s just media hype. He attests that the relationship between the two companies is “good” and that there was no big brother pressure by Facebook to make the move to pull away from Twitter. In fact he claims responsibility.
Whether this is true or not, we’ll probably see in the near future, but it’s not unreasonable to look back at Twitter’s strategic move to shut off Instagram’s access to Twitter’s API. After this move, Instagram was no longer able to pull in friends from Twitter, although Instagram wasn’t the only platform to be cut off. Earlier, LinkedIn fell victim to Twitter’s restrictions, as did Tumblr.
Although Systrom said at Le Web that his move was not spurred by Twitter’s API play, it’s obvious that the photo-sharing market is contentious and the competition is just started to get heated up.