Personally, I already don’t bother to look at most of the pictures in my Twitter news feed. Now it’ll happen even less:
In a volley the NY Times called “The Photo Wars” but we’d call a tiff amongst the social imaging giants, Instagram disabled the code support that allowed Twitter users to embed Instagram images in their tweets that others could fully see in the Twitter newsfeed without going to the Instagram site.
“Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter,” Twitter says. “This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped.”
Many online pundits see this as a more of a struggle between Twitter and Instagram’s new owner Facebook than an actual overt move on Instagram’s part.
On the one hand: big whoop, it’s hardly a huge inconvenience to click the photo link and have it open a new browser window in which the photo appears full size — and it’s arguably better that way than the tiny inline image Twitter shows in its newsfeed… Instagram argues just that, actually: it wants its photos to be seen on its web page where it can optimally display them.
On the other: this seems like a power grab that spites only its own users: If I take a photo and upload it to Instagram, hey, it’s still my photo, not theirs — and if I want to embed it in a tweet and have it visible on Twitter, that should be my right. Instagram’s attempt at authority will likely have only two effects: Twitter readers will see far fewer Instagram images [unless you like overly filtered shots, hardly a loss] and Twitter posters will use another image service — most likely the one from Twitter and Photobucket — instead of Instagram. Twitter was likely to add filters and boost sharing there, and now that will happen sooner rather than later.