Instagram Yanks In-Twitter Photo Support

The war over your pictures is heating up. Late last week, Instagram turned off its support for Twitter’s “card” service, which resulted in images appearing cropped and cut-off in Tweets. That caused an uproar, which led Instagram head Kevin Systrom to say that the move was part of a bigger business decision to drive more users to Instagram’s own website.

He wasn’t kidding. Yesterday, Instagram completely disabled Twitter photo integration. Those retro-tinted images of yours don’t even appear cropped anymore, in other words – Tweeting an Instagram pic now results in a simple link to the Instagram website, with no accompanying visuals.

It will be interesting to see if the move proves successful or if it backfires. Instagram gained a tremendous influx of users after Facebook bought it for a billion at-the-time dollars, and now boasts more than a hundred million users. The drive to move those users onto Instagram proper very likely has to do with monetization. In late November, Business Insider reported that Facebook’s new Terms of Service language opens the door for Facebook ads to appear on Instagram’s website.

Instagram rose through the photo-sharing ranks on the back of its Twitter and Facebook integration, however, and many users are expressing extreme disappointment in the decision to yank in-service picture sharing. Plenty of alternative services still support in-Twitter photos. Is Instagram strong enough to stand on its own two feet, or will people merely switch to one of its myriad contenders?

Meanwhile, Twitter is hard at work developing Instagram-esque filters for its native photo service. AllThingsD reports that the company hopes to release the feature just in time for the holidays, when picture-taking skyrockets.