Instagram has pulledits integration with the Twitter “cards” display format, making viewing Instagram photos on the microblogging site much less appealing.
The move highlights growing competition between the two networks since Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April. Twitter has played the aggressor in other integration wars — also increasingly pushing for its content to be viewed on its own website — and few tech insiders publicly shed any tears for the company.
Speaking at a conference in Paris, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom reportedly said Instagram would eventually disable viewing its photos on Twitter completely. Instead, links in tweets will take users to Instagram.
“We’ve decided that right now, what makes sense, is to direct our users to the Instagram Web site. Obviously things change as a company evolves,” Sytstrom said, according to the New York Times.
Many tech insiders saw both companies at fault.
Matt Galligan, the founder of Circa, tweeted his take: “Twitter removes follow sync to Instagram. Instagram removes photos from Twitter. I’m not sure who won this war, but I know who lost: users.”
Dave Winer, a prominent developer, wrote on his blog, “It’s not black and white. Not ‘Twitter Bad’ or ‘Instagram Bad.’ IMHO the only thing that’s bad is the lack of diversity. These sites are growing too large, and we’re growing too dependent on them. And as often happens in tech, the users and open standards become an afterthought to the warfare between large companies. But the good news is that this kind of fighting is a sign of an implosion coming soon, and a new period of expansion and innovation.”
Hunter Walk, who created Second Life, perhaps summed it up best when he tweeted that he was “rooting for [the] underdog in Twitter/Instagram debate: You know, the $8 billion company, not the $60 billion one.”