Last week, Instagram stopped supporting Twitter cards — which embed photos into tweets — meaning that tweeted pictures looked strangely cropped and off-center.
In an interview at a Paris tech show last week, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said that Instagram would eventually take all photo previews out of Twitter, saying that the snapshot company was undergoing an “evolution” in how it shares its content.
“We will always be integrated with Twitter in a way that you can tweet out a photo from Instagram to Twitter,” Systrom told the conference attendees, but he said that Instagram wants to drive traffic back to its own site.
With its newly-launched Web profiles, Systrom said, Instagram is the best place on the Web to view, comment on and share pictures. “We want that to be on Instagram.com because we think it’s a better user experience, currently,” he said.
When Instagram made its changes last week, there was speculation that Facebook — which finished its acquisition of the company three months ago — was behind the move to pull support from a competing social network. But Systrom said that the decision to change the way Instagram interacts with Twitter originated with him. He also dismissed the idea that Instagram was retaliating against Twitter for removing a feature that allowed Instagram (and Tumblr) users to find friends through Twitter’s network.
When asked if Instagram would do the same with rival networks such as Tumblr, Systrom said that wasn’t in the cards at this point.
“This is more of a one-off,” Systrom said. Instagram “is trying to figure out — specifically with our Twitter integration — what it should look like. And we’ve decided that, right now, what makes sense is to direct users to our new mobile experience.”
He also said that he would be open to negotiating with Twitter about integration in the future.
There are some work-arounds out there for folks who still want to display their Instagram photos on Twitter. SlashGear highlighted, a Google Chrome plug-in that will display photos when using a Web browser. And New York Times reporter Nick Bilton makes the common-sense suggestions to save Instagram pictures to your phone’s library or to post the snaps to another network and then tweet them.
Twitter is said to be cooking up photo filters of its own by the end of the year, according to a report from All Things Digital.
(Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Don Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)