Twitter has been contacting some of its verified users with in-app messages suggesting they tweet images within the app itself instead of posting links to external sites such as Instagram.
The message reads, “Post your photos directly on Twitter to make sure your fans always see them,” and comes with two example tweets. One shows the image embedded in the tweet, while the other shows only a link to Instagram.
For nearly two years Twitter users have had to jump across to Instagram to see linked images after the photo-sharing service pulled support for Twitter cards. The move made perfect sense for Instagram, as it drove more traffic to its site, but it left Twitter with something of a problem.
Verified users – typically celebrities, sports stars, and brands with millions of followers – are hugely important to Twitter, and it really doesn’t want to see them sending masses of users off to another service to view content.
For the sake of a follower’s convenience, too, it’s simply easier to view an image within a tweet rather than have the Twitter experience interrupted by leaving the service via a link.
In addition, the microblogging site is keen to enrich its service with a variety of multimedia, so encouraging its most popular users to post images within their tweets is entirely understandable.
Whether Twitter’s request has any effect, however, is another question.
It’s also possible that Twitter is starting to feel a bit antsy about Instagram. Although the two services differ in nature, Twitter won’t have been happy to learn recently that Instagram’s active user base has grown to become larger than its own.
With that development in mind, the social media company will be keen to do all it can to keep users on its own site instead of watching them disappear off to other services like Instagram.