As of today, December 5th 2012, Instagram has dropped support for Twitter “cards.” This means that Instagram images will no longer be displayed properly on Twitter. This doesn’t eliminate the ability to post Instagram images to Twitter but makes visible the now weak compatibility between the two companies. Why has this happened?
Well, the feud between Instagram and Twitter all began when CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom approached Facebook for an appraisal on the company after very recently receiving a valuation from Twitter which was said to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This offer from Twitter was given in April of 2012 after Instagram had reached tremendous growth since its initial launch in October of 2010. It was Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, keen photographer and an original investor to Instagram, who made the offer. Dorsey’s intent was to have Instagram highly compatible with Twitter and the two companies work together.
Once Systrom went to Facebook looking for a better assessment to his company, the relationship between Instagram and Twitter quickly retrogressed. Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million in cash and stock just 48 hours after the two companies met.
It was July 2012 when Twitter blocked Instagram from accessing data on friend connections on Twitter. This disabled automatic connections with Twitter friends through Instagram upon using the Instagram app. Twitter never publicly revealed the reason for their change in policy with Instagram, but it was quite obvious that Twitter felt betrayed. The previous ally is now a part of Twitter’s biggest competitor and the tensions continue to grow.
By September of that same year, Instagram had more mobile users than Twitter – a 7.3 million to 6.9 million victory and real slap in the face for Twitter. In October Instagram established a branch that would re-open Twitter access to its users. They were able to use their own user database to allow users to share Instagram images on Twitter.
This brings us to today’s latest quarrel between the two social media companies where Instagram dropped support for Twitter “cards” – which makes Instagram images easily viewable on Twitter. Despite the back and forth feud between the companies, CEO Systrom’s latest statement on the matter is “we have a really good relationship with Twitter.” On top of that, he has also announced that the dropping of Twitter cards was “deliberate and intended to drive users to the new web client for Instagram.” – Christopher Mims’ “Instagram to Twitter: We are never ever getting back together“
So Systrom, is this just a love-hate game we are playing or are things officially over with Twitter?