Kevin Systrom On Pulling Twitter Cards Integration: We Want Images Viewed On Instagram.com

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Instagram has turned off Twitter Cards integration, leaving Instagram users on the short-winded social network with cropped, less-than-perfect copies of their masterwork in iPhonography.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s founder and CEO, spoke on stage at LeWeb 12 about it today, saying that “this is an evolution of where we want links to our content to go.”

Though Twitter integration will always remain in some way, shape or form, the relationship is changing, Kevin said. After the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, the API wars regarding photo sharing have amped up, and Instagram has important decisions to make.

“We’re working on building an awesome web presence, which we just launched,” said Systrom. “We revamped our web properties, and now we’re able to staff up teams to work on web properties with the Facebook acquisition.”

The issue seems to show photos that were cropped within Instagram as extra-cropped on mobile devices (see my examples below). However, Systrom says that this won’t be the situation forever. Kevin explained that eventually the cropping will stop and photos will no longer show up in tweets at all due to lack of cards integration. Instead all clicks will go to Instagram.com.

Systrom says that Twitter and Instagram both want the best user experience, but that Instagram wants to take control of its content. The mandate came from Kevin himself, not Zuckerberg.

For those who don’t know, Twitter Cards is a system from Twitter that allows other developers to embed content directly into the Twitter stream, rather than adding a link.

When MG Siegler asked Systrom about the Find Friends API that Instagram was shut out of in July, Systrom responded by saying that the media always wants to paint it as a “tit-for-tat” type situation, but this is about Instagram’s growth, not a rivalry. He even reminded MG that Jack Dorsey was one of the first investors in the photo-sharing app.

In the meantime, here’s Twitter’s official wording on the matter:

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.

The rendering issue doesn’t seem to affect Twitter via web, but users of the mobile app may notice that their Instagram photos aren’t displaying exactly how they were intended.

On Twitter:

twitter

On Instagram:

instagram
Additional reporting by Drew Olanoff