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11/12/2012 by
594 views

The Instagram – Twitter War Continues…

It has become clear by now that Instagram and Twitter are at war. As you may have read, the two major platforms parted ways for good last week.

tumblr mdrikwMgmj1qm4rc3h1 The Instagram – Twitter War Continues…

Yesterday Instagram 3.2 was announced, containing some major additions to the already popular app, leaving Twitter in the dark. Today Twitter releases its own set of photo filters. What exactly is happening between the two greats?

When did the war start?
It is no secret that Instagram started severing its ties with Twitter a while ago. When did it all start? Not a hard question to answer. Facebook’s competitive influence has been getting to Instagram since the day they were acquired. It all started in July, when Instagram users couldn’t search for Twitter friends on Instagram anymore, because Twitter no longer allowed their API to be used.

In October, however, the two services seemed to be getting along again, when Instagram allowed usernames to directly be translated to Twitter usernames when posted, if these were the same. But the next blow was dealt last week when Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at LeWeb in Paris that Instagram shots can no longer be seen directly in your Twitter feed, but instead will solely link to the Instagram website:

“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.”

Schermafbeelding 2012 12 10 om 22.53.41 500x240 The Instagram – Twitter War Continues…

Of course, Instagram didn’t leave it at that. Yesterday they announced Instagram 3.2, containing a revamped look for the camera in iOS (including a crop and scaling tool), a brand new filter for iOS and Android, improved tilt-shift, and an altered interface. Take that, Twitter.

Image 500x375 The Instagram – Twitter War Continues…

Twitter struck back, of course. Twitter releases its own set of 8 photo filters for the mobile app today (see video below). All before the holidays. Why now? Well, Thanksgiving proved that social media users like sharing holiday photos, especially on Instagram. Because ten million Thanksgiving tagged photos were shared during the holiday, it is obvious Twitter is trying to compete with Instagram.

0 The Instagram – Twitter War Continues…

My Opinion?
Even though Systrom wants to give users the ultimate user experience by redirecting them to the official Instagram website, the change has mostly annoyed users. The best thing for the user would be directly getting to see photos without having to be sent to a new page, or other app on their smartphones.

Ultimately it is the user that matters, not the competition with a social media platform that will never be able to match up to yours in your field in the first place. Twitter can add photo filters, but they will never be able to rival Instagram, because it has built and maintained a tight-knit community that won’t leave it behind.

Not only does this feud affect users, it also affects brands running a cross-channel strategy. No longer being able to directly show Twitter followers your brand’s photos can be a major setback when it comes to getting your story out to non-Instagram users.

While I do understand Instagram’s reasoning, their new desktop profiles are beautiful, they should know that Twitter is in no position to rival them when it comes to being a photography app. Instead of rubbing users the wrong way by making decisions like this, they should listen to their users and let Instagram photos back on Twitter.

What About You?
What do you think of this feud? Are the two platforms right in trying to take out the competition?

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About the author
Marion aan ‘t Goor is a Social Media Consultant at Share Force One. You can connect with Marion via Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

 

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Comments (9)

  • Igor Beuker 11/12/2012, 17:20

    I’m glad you are touching this topic.

    The way Instagram communicated it (at Le Web Paris) and the timing (just before Xmas period) was very strange. I doubt it is led by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom,

    I think Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) is behind the decision. Twitter is becoming too powerful in terms of users and ad money.

    I hope Twitter strikes back hard. And that they will give their top 100 stars (Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Obama etc) the Twitter photo service to get big fast.

    How do you see it? How do others see it?

     
    • Well the Twitter photo filters have already been released, so giving it to the top 100 stars won’t help anymore. I do definitely think that the Facebook guys were a big influence when it comes to this decision, the Instagram team has never been this competitive. It is useless though, Twitter and Instagram both offer services that are too different from each other. As someone on Twitter said, photos filtered by Twitter filters will get lost in a sea of text on Twitter.

       
  • Laurens Bianchi 12/12/2012, 09:17

    I think that Twitter could be succesful if they target on users who like making pictures using fancy filters but doesn’t want to join another network again. Of course Instagram wants direct users to where the content lives originally, but in my opinion not sincerely to get the full Instagram experience, but simply because that’s the place where Instagram is going to show you advertising in the near future. And I guess, based on this article that this will be Facebook ads: http://www.viralblog.com/facebook-marketing/facebook-working-on-external-ad-network/

     
    • Twitter could be successful if it would only be about the filters, but Instagram is about community and sharing, not filters. I think it is important to get that point across, and Twitter doesn’t seem to understand that part. And I definitely agree with the fact that they want to direct people where the ads are going to be. Facebook’s influence, probably.

       
  • Igor Beuker 12/12/2012, 12:07

    I see it a bit different and think it’s almost impossible to compare Insta and Twitter. Of course there might be overlap in users, but to me Twitter is an interest network which I use to get updates on certain topics for work, following like-minded peers and their stories. Visuals or photos could help the stories.

    I guess Insta and also Pinterest, are at heart about photos and visuals, and have mkstly a much different target audience who come to these platforms for other reasons. So I don’t know if I want to compare them..

    Cheers

     
  • Igor Beuker 12/12/2012, 12:47

    Learned a lot from the discussion, so thanks. Can’t help feeling sympathic for Twitter, I saw the Le Web talk from Systrom and thought: hey, there’s more.

    I think all the Gaga and Bieber followers on Twitter, and now the pope, will want to see an updated story with photo..

    I read a story from Larry Page (Google) last nite and he stated: big players should work closer together, open services up to all and stop fighting each other, probably pointing to all the alwsuits with Apple, Microsoft and Steve Jobs’ quote: we need to destroy Android.

    Now this catfight. Time for the new world leaders to start acting like true leaders?!

     
  • Kelsey Flatau 13/12/2012, 19:25

    This feud is ridiculous. I understand that companies are always trying to maintain their positions at the top of the pedestal within their industries, but this is just silly. First of all, Twitter and Instagram don’t even fall within the same category. Yes, both are social media platforms with billions of users., but they both convey completely different purposes. Twitter should not be trying to rival Instagram’s photo filtering skills, and Instagram should not be trying to ruin Twitter’s reputation by angering Twitter users by removing photo visibility. When companies work together and promote one another then a beneficial partnership will be formed. In this case because of the notoriety both companies have, each company will probably see an increase in profits. But, no. With this silly feud, users are going to become angry with both companies and they will both ultimately lose customers, AKA users. I think Twitter and Instagram should stop being social media babies and grow up. Regain that partnership, and make your customers happy. Then everyone will win.

     
    • Igor Beuker 13/12/2012, 22:35

      You are so right Kelsey! Stop acting like social media babies, very well phrased!
      Hope to read you more often! And hope to see leaders act like true leaders!