Thursday, December 06, 2012

Tech: Twitter vs Facebook: Instagram cuts Twitter connection, becomes more a creature of Facebook

Big feud between Twitter and Facebook, the latest wrinkle in which is Instagram's stoppage of use of a Twitter facility for tweeting fotos. The stoppage delivers Instagram "more firmly" into "Facebook's realm of control."  It all swept right past me, as I've never used Instagram and hardly know what it is or does.  But I noticed the item because it makes clear the competitive struggle between Twitter and Facebook.  I'd guess that Facebook put the screws to Instagram which then had to choose between the two mega-monster online institutions.

-- Technowlb, refWrite Backpage technics newspotter, analyst, columnist

Financial Times (Dec6,2k12)

December 6, 2012 12:21 am

Instagram abandons Twitter feature

Instagram has stopped using a Twitter feature that allows its photos to appear in the Twitter feed, a move that puts Instagram’s visual content more firmly in Facebook’s realm of control.
Clamping down on the channel with Twitter compromises the philosophy that guided Instagram, before it was acquired by Facebook, to partner openly with other social networks.




The shift underscores a growing tension between Facebook and Twitter, as the two dominant social networks compete for both advertising dollars and users’ time. Photos are an increasingly valuable asset for both, as they are proven to increase engagement on social networks. Those metrics are then presented to potential advertisers as a display of audience reach.
Before the acquisition, Instagram used Twitter Cards, a technical feature of the microblogging site that renders photographs so they appear properly in the Twitter stream.
Earlier this week, Twitter began receiving reports from users that their Instagram images were off-centre or strangely cropped, cutting out faces from the frame, for example. Android phone users saw no image at all.
“This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration,” the company said in a blog posted Wednesday.
Kevin Systrom, Instagram chief executive, speaking at the LeWeb conference in Paris on Wednesday, said the change was a technical one, not a competitive one: “this isn’t actually a consequence of us getting acquired”.
Instagram began as a mobile-only app. It has since built its own website. Mr Systrom said he wants to direct users there “because we think it’s a better user experience currently”, he said, rather than do it through Twitter’s technology.
Instagram users will still be able to use Twitter to send out photos, but their followers will only see a text link. To view the photo, they will be directed back to
Photos posted on Facebook, Tumblr, and Foursquare will not be affected.
“Images in advertisers’ minds are better than text any day,” said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research. “The ability to suggest that the visitors to the site are more likely to be emotionally engaged by the images, means they are open to the emotional message of the advertisers.”
If Facebook can show that Instagram’s photos are able to be viewed on Facebook and not on Twitter, it could be a compelling selling point.
While Twitter is developing its own photo filters similar to Instagram’s, it is several years behind. Facebook has been increasing its efforts to be seen as the epicentre of people’s photo sharing activities, from acquiring Instagram earlier this year, to the launch last Friday of Photo Sync, which encourages users to store all photos taken with their mobile phones inside Facebook.

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