Twitter Cards are an ingenious attempt by Twitter to get in as much content as possible within a tweet which is limited to 140 characters including article and text links. Twitter cards allows you to check out an image without having to click on a photo service’s link and being taken to their website. The content gets pulled in automatically thus leading to a good user experience. Other content link articles and videos are also pulled in a similar way, Articles and blogposts however are summarized to topic and description thus effectively showing you a preview.
A few days back I was using Tweetdeck, when I saw that Instagram links were not displaying the Twitter Card functionality. I assumed it was a problem in Tweetdeck, a product which always seems to have some kind of problem or the other. However, I came to know today morning that this wasn’t a glitch and that Instagram had disabled Twitter Card integration from their service. You will not be able to see instagram photo previews anymore. You will thus have to click the link in the old fashioned manner to check out the photo.
Why did Instagram do this?
There is a logical explanation even if it comes at the risk of user experience. Because the Twitter card functionality is so good in displaying Instagram photos, it is possible that many Twitter using folks don’t actually visit Instagram’s website to check the image. Instagram has social features like reposting and favoriting. If everyone on Twitter doesn’t need to go to Instagram, it almost feels like Twitter is using Instagram as its photo sharing service, even though it has one of its own. Of course this might not be premeditated but it seems like that.
This might also be Instagram’s way of getting back at Twitter for blocking Instagram users from finding new friends using Twitter’s data/service. Instagram feels that now they have a good web viewing experience and that all users should experience it.
Image Courtesy | Techcrunch