This week Instagram announced it was changing its integration arrangement with Twitter, in a move that may mark the start of a new phase in social media – the battle for content.
Twitter Cards poker face
On Wednesday Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced at the Le Web 12 conference that Instagram was switching off Twitter Cards integration, meaning Instagram images will no longer appear properly cropped in the Twitter feed.
“This is an evolution of where we want links to our content to go,” Systrom explained.
Instagram has recently been ramping up its web presence, launching web profiles earlier this month.
While Instagram images now appear cropped in Twitter, they will eventually be replaced exclusively by links to Instagram.com. By controlling these links, Instagram is further consolidating its online footprint.
In July Twitter sought to regain control over its content when it shut off the Find Frirends API for Instagram (and many other third-party developers). As a result, users could no longer instantly follow the same people on Instagram that they followed on Twitter.
Reports that Twitter is reportedly working on its own image-filter system won't help the relationship between the two platforms.
How much of Instagram's decision is due to its recent acquisition by Facebook is unclear.
What is clear is that as social media platforms move towards monetisation, they're becoming more protective about who shares their content, and how.