Instagram, the popular and now Facebook-owned image filtering and sharing app, has cut off support for Twitter's embedded card view. Twitter cards are one of the ways in which Twitter is trying to offer "rich experiences" within timelines for "value added partners", and likely one of the reasons Twitter is trying to choke the life out of third party Twitter clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot. (Because users of those fine apps don't get pelted with Twitter cards.) Here's how Twitter is describing the change:
Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter. Issues include cropped images. 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.
Absent Twitter card support, Instagram photos show up like other third-party images in Twitter -- as linked attachments of varying quality. The varying quality part seems especially egregious right now, with some photos showing up cropped and otherwise butchered. Hopefully that gets fixed.
The Verge's Nathan Ingram, watching Instragram's CEO, Kevin Systrom on stage at Le Web, reports:
Instagram's CEO wants people to use the new web client on Instagram.com because he thinks it is a better user experience, and noted that "not many people know what Twitter card are."
That new web client being the Instagram web profile pages that began rolling out only a month ago. Which is an interesting strategy. Making people come to you for content gives you greater control of the experience, but costs the user convenience. In other words,Twitter doesn't want our eyeballs on third-party clients, Instagram doesn't want our eyeballs on Twitter, and none of them seem to care what our eyeballs want.
Apple right now is pushing iTunes content into Flipboard and other places precisely because it's easier for users already in those places to discover and ultimate purchase that content. But Apple makes money on content, so putting that content in front of people increases the odds of making money. Instagram doesn't make money on content.
In fact, I don't believe Instagram makes money at all at this point. However, encouraging users to go to their website could be a clue as to how they intend to make money in the future.