Users will now have to click through to the Instagram website to view images. The previous system, called Twitter Cards, allowed content from certain photo and video services to be displayed within the Twitter website itself. Prior to this, Instagram was the social media site’s most-linked photo service.
Kevin Systrom of Instagram told the New York Times,”We’ve decided that right now, what makes sense, is to direct our users to the Instagram Web site.”
“Obviously things change as a company evolves,” Mr. Systrom continued.
Twitter is reportedly hard at work on a strong photo-sharing solution of its own, one that replications and ) surpasses Instagram’s quick and easy approach to image cropping and filtering.
Before Instagram required click-throughs, Twitter was clearly in for an uphill battle against complacence and an entrenched standard. Now, there is an obvious angle from which to attract the Instagram user-base.
Still, having headed off the competition won’t console a company as it goes under. Between cash and stock manipulation, Facebook paid roughly a billion dollars for the Instagram service, earlier this year; it’s understandable that they’d like a return on their investment. Embedding is a known issue in the ever-shifting terrain of monetizing the online space, not only reducing revenue for the content provider, but shifting it to the middle-man. Every photo viewed on a Twitter page gives ad revenue to Twitter – while the hosting bill falls to Instagram.
Twitter has served the new Facebook subsidiary very well. Without the social media framework of Twitter and other sites in which to share photos, the app-turned-empire would never have gotten off the ground. All other considerations aside, this is clearly a shot at Twitter, and the latest in what is sure to be a long and drawn out battle. All that remains to be seen is whether users will come out the better in the end.