As you know, there was a big kerfuffle the other day when Instagram, part of Facebook, decided to turn off Twitter Card functionality for its photos. Basically, you would no longer see the images in all their glory; rather, you’d see a cropped version.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said at LeWeb that this was done to drive more traffic to the web experience for Instagram, a move that it felt had to be made.
Today, they appear to be turned back on. We’ve reached out to both companies for comment (Check our UPDATE below for what happened):
We’re seeing this on both web and mobile versions of Twitter.
Twitter Cards allow you to view content embedded within tweets with a link to give you an idea of what you’ll be clicking on and going to. In some cases, it could prevent things from being fully viewed. With Instagram photos though, you can get everything you need by simply seeing it. If you want to take it a step further for engagement purposes, then clicking the link is the option you can take.
At the end of the day, it’s all about options for users. Don’t lock them in.
It’s understandable that companies have to make tough decisions, as Twitter itself has in a few cases, specifically with ratcheting back access to its firehose of data. Sometimes, moves just aren’t worth hurting users, as I feel was the case with this one. If this move is indeed reversed forever, it’s a smart one by Instagram.
UPDATE: We’re hearing that this might be a “regression” and not an intentional move by Instagram.
UPDATE 2: From an Instagram spokesperpson: “As Kevin mentioned at LeWeb, Instagram is dropping support for Twitter cards. What you are seeing now may be some sort of regression depending on the mobile client, but we’re checking in with the engineers.”
If this is truly the case, it’s a sad moment for Instagram and Twitter users. Again.
We thought they had come to their senses. An advocate for users needs to get in a room with both companies and sort this all out.
[Photo credit: Flickr]