Instagram no longer plays nice with Twitter.

Why is Instagram waving goodbye to Twitter integration?

Instagram no longer plays well with Twitter, as plenty of Instagram users discovered today. 

Until relatively recently, Instagram was fully integrated with Twitter – you'd snap a picture using the Instagram app, and you could embed the image directly into a tweet. No longer. Beginning this week, Instagram has axed support for "Twitter cards," a design feature that makes it easier for users to slot multimedia content onto their timelines. For all practical purposes, that means that Instagram photos on Twitter can look a little... funky. 

"Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter. Issues include cropped images," reps for Twitter acknowledged today. "This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped." 

What kind of game is Instagram playing, exactly? Well, in a statement to the Washington Post, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed that Instagram had disabled Twitter card support, and said that Instagram would continue to "evaluate how to improve the experience with Twitter and Instagram photos." 

"A handful of months ago, we supported Twitter cards because we had a minimal Web presence," Mr. Systrom continued. "We’ve since launched several improvements to our Web site that allow users to directly engage with Instagram content through likes, comments, hashtags, and now we believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives." 

No more embedding, in other words. You can still link to a Instagram photo from Twitter, but the photo won't actually live inside the tweet. 

Over at CNET, Ben Parr is wagering the whole thing comes down to cold, hard cash. 

"Instagram is a business, and at some point it has to make money," Parr writes. "In order to generate revenue, most likely from some type of innovative, image-based advertising network that must be bouncing around in Systrom's head, it has to control the page views and control the user experience. It's the exact same reason why Twitter has been throttling some of its most popular third-party apps – it doesn't control the user experience on those apps, and thus it can't control how ads look and feel." 

Of course, there's also the not-so-small matter of competition: Facebook recently acquired Instagram for $1 billion. Facebook and Twitter are rivals. As Austin Carr of Fast Company writes, "Instagram is incredibly popular on Twitter right now; Facebook and Instagram would prefer it to be incredibly popular on Facebook and Instagram." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Why is Instagram waving goodbye to Twitter integration?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today