Snapseed and Instagram, both apps acquired by Google and Facebook respectively, have a new competitor. Twitter is building its own photo filters for its mobile apps in the coming months, says The New York Times. It’s a strategy that will ideally encourage Twitter users to use its native photo app in lieu of Instagram.
Instagram, alongside Twitter, was the star of the show during Hurricane Sandy. A staggering 10 photos per second with the hashtag #Sandy were shared on Instagram. And in total more than 244,000 photos were posted. With many Instagram photos being automatically shared to Twitter, the platform has enjoyed growth thanks to Twitter. Keeping in mind that Twitter has been placing restrictions to developers, and a recent report indicating the network will stop supporting third-party image hosting services like Twitpic and yFrog, and now it appears there’s a target on Instagram’s back.
Photo-sharing is becoming more and more popular and this content clearly has “viral” written all over it — this week’s events are evidence of that, and this is why Instagram is a threat to Twitter in the long run. The photo sharing app has been a popular choice for mobile devices owners not only for its interface, but because of its famous filters. To share photos, Twitter users are jumping to Instagram for its filters, and then publishing the images onto Twitter. What that also means is that anyone viewing the larger Instagram image must open up a standalone Instagram page and leave Twitter.
According to The New York Times’ source, Twitter has begun realizing that even its “Very Important Tweeters” (V.I.T), are turning to Instagram for publishing photographs, instead of Twitter’s own native photo feature.
Twitter is also looking to keep video sharing services in-house, when Twitter reportedly acquired the video sharing service, Vine.
Getting users to return to Twitter’s native platform is what has been driving the company to crack down on third-party Twitter apps violating its restrictive terms of service. To increase the time spent on its mobile app, adding filters to Twitter would be a pivotal strategy — thought not necessarily a successful one. Facebook created its own standalone filter app, Camera, which hasn’t been able to gather much steam or challenge Instagram (although, it does own Instagram, so the need isn’t as great).