Once, Twitter and Instagram were good pals, but the fairy tale ended, when Facebook acquired the photo sharing service, for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock, in April 2012. Today, the friends are frenemies… as Instagram disabled the ability for Twitter to properly display its photos this Wednesday.
Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, said in a statement, at LeWeb technology conference, that the company turned off support for Twitter cards to drive Twitter users to Instagram’s own website. Systrom explained that Instagram only supported Twitter cards because it had a minimal Web presence. Today, with over 100 million users, the company wants even more direct traffic from Twitter. This may not be the best experience for Twitter users, but it is the best experience for Instagram, and Systrom is not shy to admit it:
“We believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives.”
This may or may not be a move dictated by Instagram’s new owner, Facebook. Back in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to be happy about Instagram’s connections to services beyond Facebook:
“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”
While users can still share Instagram images on Twitter, these are cropped, according to a Twitter status on Wednesday:
“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.”
It’s not yet confirmed when Instagram completely disables the ability for Twitter to show its images, but for now, photos posted through other sites and services, including Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare, will not be affected.