Instagram falls out of love with Twitter as it pulls integration

Rains drops - Instagram pic by @TmmlnycFacebook-owned Instagram has taken the step of blocking Twitter from displaying photos correctly by disabling its Twitter card integration. It means Instagram photos no longer display properly on Twitter and look oddly cropped. Instagram has said it made the move because it wants people to views pictures on a new Instagram web presence it is building rather than viewing them on Twitter.

The issue is, of course, many people want to view, and more importantly share, their pictures on Twitter.

While the move will have its benefits –bringing users a decent Instagram web presence is obviously a welcome move — it seems a shame that another part of the social web has to be disrupted in the on going battle for social networking supremacy.

Instagram’s chief executive Kevin Systrom defended the decision yesterday while speaking at the LeWeb conference in Paris.

He reassured people that Instagram “will always be integrated with Twitter in a way that you can tweet out from Instagram to Twitter”. Although as of today that means images no longer correctly display.

Instagram’s awesome web presence

“Really it’s about where do you go to consume that image, to interact with that image. We want that to be on Instagram. What we realized over time is we really needed to have an awesome web presence,” Systrom said.

If you are going to allow images to appear on Twitter then make them appear as they were intended. Common sense, surely?

Systrom also denied that the changes were being made were the result of Instagram’s $1bn acquisition by Facebook earlier this year. He insisted that the decision was coming from him alone.

“This decision is definitely coming from me. This is not a case of Facebook putting some sort of policy on Instagram. And this isn’t a consequence of us getting acquired,” Systrom said.

Further more,  Systrom said the moves had nothing to do with changes Twitter recently made to who gets access to its user list as implied in some parts of the tech press where the move is being read as a tit-for-tat retaliation.

“The press has a history of painting things this way. We have a really good relationship with Twitter,” he said.

The issue is likely to focus minds at Twitter on the development of its own image filters to compete with Instagram.

Last month Twitter was reported to be close to launching photo filters of its own to compete with the Facebook-owned service.

Reports suggested that in the coming months Twitter will update its mobile applications to introduce filters for photos bringing sepia tones, retro looks, black white and washed out looking photos to a wider market. These will allow people to share filtered images in the same way they do now via Instagram.

That will likely appeal to a lot of people who want to take pictures and share them with their Twitter followers rather than send them to an Instagram website.