Breaking Analysis: Instagram Playing Traffic Controller with Twitter

Yesterday, Instagram removed Twitter card support, which disabled the ability for Twitter to properly display Instagram photos. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed this action and announced they plan to completely cut off embedding pictures on Twitter’s website. SiliconANGLE News Desk Editor Kristen Nicole expressed uncertainty as to whether this is the best move for Instagram, but she said, “This seems to be a very specific business decision on Instagram’s side.”

Other social media sites, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare, have not been affected.  Systrom went on stage at the LeWeb 12 Conference in France yesterday and denied that this change had anything to do with being acquired by Facebook, and at the same time, claimed that they have a good relationship with Twitter.  Systrom maintained that this was a move simply to direct more traffic to their website.  He also acknowledged that they have confused users, which Kristen Nicole said should have been a red flag that they should have avoided making the change altogether.  She emphasized that the majority of their users are centered around mobile activity, and the decision to shift that experience is not likely in the best interest of their users.  She said, “They’re well aware that this shifts the consumer experience, and I think the consumer experience should be the priority here, not where Instagram wants to direct traffic.”

Instagram photos can still be posted to Twitter, although it might take a few more steps to do so, and they may look off-center or cropped. Instagram users can still tweet when they post a photo, but if someone clicks on the Instagram link, they will be re-directed to Instagram’s site to view it.

Kristen Nicole discussed the continuing warfare between social media companies and the impacts on the end-users. She said she hopes that ultimately, these companies recognize the need to keep things as simple as possible for their users because the user experience is only going to become more important as they battle each other.  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and Kristen Nicole on the Morning NewsDesk Show.