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The Twitter-Instagram Wars

Twitter users have long loved Instagram. Not only does it give them the ability to apply filters to photos, but it also offers an instant community; another place to get your photos seen by a crowd that may or may not be on social media platforms. Often, when people share a photo to Instagram, they also share it to Twitter and sometimes Facebook, too (among other social networks). But Instagram just made that a bit more difficult to do. They’ve disabled their integration with Twitter cards, which means photos sent to Twitter with Instagram will no longer show up in your followers’ feeds; instead they’ll direct your followers to the Instagram website. Everyone say, “Ugh,” in unison.

In a way, it makes sense. After all, Instagram just launched their web presence and we can’t blame them for wanting to get some traffic.  But this decision has essentially turned two companies who have always played nice together into competitors. And it’s too early to say who’s going to win this war.

To compensate for their loss, Twitter has now launched filters, essentially hoping to eliminate your need for Instagram. But we feel like they did a bit of a half-assed job at it and their filters are nowhere close to Instagrams. Not to mention, what about our friends who aren’t on Twitter who we want to share photos with? And what about those times you’re sitting on the train and you want to scroll through recent photo updates instead of viewing every single tweet? We can’t expect everyone to upload  their photos to both Instagram and then separately to Twitter. So, somebody’s gotta win this one.

Which brings us to Flickr. Ever since Marissa Mayer took over at the helm of Yahoo, she’s been working to make their offerings useful again. Flickr, which is part of Yahoo, seems to be a dying network. Why upload photos to Flickr when you can have them on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.? Well, they’re hoping that you’ll now have a reason to. Not only is Flickr offering various photo filters (16 of them!), but they’ll also be fully integrated with Twitter.  Perfect timing in the wake of the Instagram drama. But will people make the switch from Instagram to Flickr or is Flickr already too much of a has-been?

It’s too early to tell, but for now, we think most people will deal with the annoyance of Instagram’s non-integration with Twitter.  Instagram worked hard to earn those one hundred million users and we like utilizing the platform because everyone we know is also on it. Can a platform like Flickr convince even a fraction of those users to make the switch? It’s doubtful. Will people start using the filters on Twitter and eventually abandon Instagram? We don’t think Twitter’s filters are quite advanced enough just yet. Perhaps a bigger and better photo-sharing service will come long that will sweep us all off our feet, but for now, we’re stuck in the middle of the photo-sharing war.


Susan Anderson

Susie Anderson is Vice President of Social Media and Influencer Relations!

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