Twitter’s rumored own photo filtering feature is already being described as an Instagram killer, despite the fact that there is no official Twitter announcement in this regard. Well, unless you consider photos tweeted by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey the proof in the pudding.
As you already know, Instagram turned off support for Twitter cards to drive Twitter users to Instagram’s own website. The move caused a bit of tension between the two companies that were once working together. Now rumors emerge that Twitter is launching its own photo filtering feature, to replace what is missing since Instagram is out of the picture.
The first to suggest that Twitter aims to release photo filters in time for the holidays was Mike Isaac, of All Things D, basing his report on sources familiar with the matter. According to these unnamed sources, Twitter’s goal is to release an application update before the end of the year. The app is supposedly in testing, which would explain Jack Dorsey’s black-and-white update, featured above.
All Things D is not the first mainstream publication to suggest a Twitter photo feature that would help the microblogging platform make up for the loss of Instagram. Earlier in November, Nick Bilton, on the Bits blog of The New York Times, reported that Twitter was planning to update its mobile applications to introduce filters for photos that will allow people to share altered images on Twitter and bypass Instagram. His report was based on unnamed sources as well, but this time people working at the company.
“Although Twitter considered a photocentric product acquisition for some time, the move to build its own filters was hastened after Facebook said it would buy Instagram for $1 billion,” Bilton explained. “After the Instagram acquisition was announced, Twitter executives explored buying a competing photo service or application. [...] After meeting with and appraising some companies, Twitter’s executives decided the price tags were not worth the goods, and decided the company could build its own filters instead.
An own photo filtering feature released by the end of the year would escalate the conflict between Twitter and Instagram. From users’ perspective, things do not change much, as they are already able to share images in their tweets. But Instagram allowed users to add special effects that made image sharing both original and fun. Users can still share Instagram activity on Twitter, but the images won’t show, being replaced by links, to encourage Twitter users to see the photos on Instagram’s own site.