Who wins when Instagram and Twitter are publicly sparring?

Instagram and Twitter want everyone to stay inside their play pens, which are starting to feel like kennels.


Twitter and Instagram do a little sparring. Nobody in the audience gains any points.

Source: Greg L. photos on Flickr

Twitter is suffuse with links to photos hosted by Instagram, the popular photo sharing and sometimes filtering service acquired earlier this year by Facebook for $1 billion. And since Twitter introduced Twitter Cards over the summer, Instagram has been one of the best examples of why Cards were necessary, and how Cards might generate some actual revenue for Twitter. Your Instagram-using friend tweets out a photo, you click it, you see the photo in Twitter, and maybe you think about how nice it looks, and how easy it must be to post photos from Instagram.

But then, Tuesday night, Instagram photos started looking wonky when clicked in Twitter. Then the Twitter Status feed (which is hosted on a Tumblr, because we are all being forced to live virtually on the same block in Manhattan) reported that Instagram had "(disabled) its Twitter cards integration. This would seem to indicate that Instagram didn't give Twitter a lot of notice about their intentions, or at least that Twitter did not have a plan in place for a service dropping its value-added features.

Instagram founder Kevin Systrom told the crowd at the LeWeb conference that it wasn't a feud. Twitter just recently disabled Instagram's ability to find your friends, and Instagram wasn't responding to that. And it wasn't a result of Instagram's Facebook ownership. No, it was about Instagram guiding users and viewers to "where their content lives originally."

I know it's not that exciting when one person writing on the web agrees with some other persons writing on the web, but Matt Mullenweg and Mat Honan are entirely correct: they argue, we lose. (Mullenweg was technically speaking, but, regardless).

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