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11/12/2012 by

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.

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 because it has a better user experience currently.”

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.

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.

YouTube Preview Image

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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