App clash: Instagram shuts off Twitter feature

A man shows the smartphone photo sharing application Instagram on an Iphone on April 10, 2012, in Paris, one day after Facebook announced a billion-dollar-deal to buy the startup behind Instagram. The smartphone app turned off a feature Wednesday, Dec. 5, 3012, that allowed easier photo viewing for Twitter users, in a move that pushes the two popular tech platforms farther apart. AFP PHOTO THOMAS COEX

SAN FRANCISCO—The smartphone app Instagram turned off a feature Wednesday that allowed easier photo viewing for Twitter users, in a move that pushes the two popular tech platforms farther apart.

“Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter,” San Francisco-based Twitter said in a status update.

“This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience,” the message continued.

“So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped.”

The change was evidently a move by Instagram, which has some 100 million users, to route photo viewers to its own website, where it has the potential to make money from ads or other mechanisms, instead of letting Twitter get the benefits.

Previously, Instagram pictures shared in messages “tweeted” from smartphones could be viewed unaltered at Twitter.

Instagram rose to stardom with the help of Twitter, but has distanced itself from the one-to-many text messaging service since being acquired by leading social network Facebook.

Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram in September. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in Facebook’s share price.

Instagram last month was given a Facebook spin with the roll-out of online profiles that let people showcase themselves and photos they’ve taken with the smartphone application.

People can share their profiles with whomever they wish as well as “follow” other Instagram users, commenting on or expressing “likes” for pictures.

The main point of Instagram is to share smartphone snaps, which can be enhanced with image filters to mimic historic types of film.

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