Instagram has just announced 80 million users and a new app update; Noticeably missing in the update? The “Find Your Friends” on Twitter feature, which allowed users to follow the same people they follow on Twitter on Instagram.
The “Tweet Photo” feature is still available.
We’ve learned that the feature is missing due to API restrictions from Twitter’s end, restrictions that possibly came about over concerns about Instagram’s scale and its strain on data pulls.
Many social apps like The Fancy and Foursquare still have access to this part of the Twitter API — it seems very likely that Instagram was the largest developer using the Twitter Friend Graph.
The decision is especially perplexing for multiple reasons having to do with Valley politics: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is also an investor in Instagram and the two companies share Benchmark as an investor. One could speculate that this is a competitive move on Twitter’s part, a direct attack on Facebook’s social graph via limiting access to its recent acquisition (Instagram).
Twitter’s agenda here isn’t at all clear, but one possibility is that it wants to control the photos experience on its platform (and preclude Facebook from doing the same). Selectively limiting API access by company is definitely strange behavior in an ecosystem that thrives on API symbiosis. Imagine if Google just decided to shut off Google Maps access to apps randomly?
Before this, Twitter’s most recent move in the API wars was pulling tweets off of LinkedIn, a decision that now seems like the beginning of a slippery slope.
Created in 2006, Twitter is a global real-time communications platform with 400 million monthly visitors to twitter.com, more than 200 million monthly active users around the world. We see a billion tweets every 2.5 days on every conceivable topic. World leaders, major athletes, star performers, news organizations and entertainment outlets are among the millions of active Twitter accounts through which users can truly get the pulse of the planet.
Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it on the service or a variety of other social networking services, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, and Posterous. The application is compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 or above or any Android device running Android 2.2 or above. In an homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras, Instagram confines photos into a square...