Facebook-owned Instagram and Twitter are no longer friends.
The vintage-filtered photos are no longer jibing with Twitter’s format, making the pics appear too big and cropped (though you can still see them).
In a brief statement
on Wednesday, Twitter acknowledged the problem, which could have implications for brands on social media, especially given the importance of images.
Hatfields and McCoys of social media?
Unofficially, this is a feud. In reality, however, it’s one social platform predictably distancing itself from another. It started in April when Facebook dropped $1 billion to buy Instagram. Then in July, Twitter blocked Instagram users
from mining the site to find friends. The photo flap is just the latest chapter, and we can expect more.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed and explained the move at Le Web Paris, as reported by several sources, including The New York Times
“We wanted to make sure we direct users to where the content lives originally, so they get the full Instagram experience. It's just about where do you go to interact with that image? We want that to be on Instagram.com because it has a better user experience currently.”
Soon, Instagram images will not be visible at all on Twitter, Systrom said.
Implications for brands
If Systrom makes good on his threat about killing Instagram pics from Twitter, brands could still share their filtered pics on Twitter. They just need to link directly to Instagram in their tweets (the image just won’t appear in the actual tweet). Of course, this requires an extra step from your audience members.
Is that an effective approach? Not really.
Ultimately, social media managers will have to find other platforms for sharing images on Twitter—TwitPic
, and yfrog
are three options, although they lack the prestige of Instagram—or dedicate their photo-sharing efforts to a different site.
Where does this leave Twitter?
It’s arguable that Instagram’s growth was fueled in large part by its ability to post through Twitter. There’s no doubt Twitter will feel scorned once Instagram walks away completely. What’s not clear is the micro-blogging site’s next move.
When Instagram launched, it saw value in having its content appear through Twitter. Now, Twitter is seeing value in being a broadcast hub for an immensely popular photo-sharing site. Instagram, meanwhile, apparently no longer sees value in Twitter—this seems to be an increasingly common theme.