Instagram photos botched on Twitter

Twitter users trying to see Instagram images in their tweet streams were greeted with an unwelcome surprise Wednesday.

"Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter," the micro-blogging service said in a status message. "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," the message added.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has acknowledged that his service is the cause of the glitch. He attributed the flaky behavior of Instagram photos in Twitter to the service's scrapping support for Twitter cards, according to Nathan Ingraham reporting for The Verge from the LeWeb conference in Paris.

Twitter cards is a relatively new feature at the micro-blogging service for displaying content in a virtual card format.

Instagram explanation

In his remarks at LeWeb, Systrom denied that the withdrawal of Twitter card support was a retaliatory move in response to the micro-blogging service's blocking of Instagram from using Twitter's friend-finding application programming interface (API).

He added that Instagram's parent company, Facebook, wasn't behind the move either.

The support change, he claimed, was aimed at improving the experience of Instagram's users. The company wants to direct users to its website where their content originates, he said.

In recent weeks, Instagram has spruced up its online presence, allowing its users to create Facebook-style Web profiles to showcase their photos. Before that, public photos posted to the services website could only be found through a search engine like Google or Bing.

Despite the apparent slap to Twitter, Systrom declared that Instagram has a "really good relationship" with the micro-blogging service and that Instagram users will always be able to tweet to Twitter from within Instagram.

Not best friends

Systrom's assurances aside, the two services could continue to butt heads in the future. For example, it's rumored that Twitter is preparing to add a feature to its mobile app that will allow its users to apply filters to photos that they shoot with their smartphones, which is what Instagram is all about.

For some observers, Instagram's action was just tit-for-tat for Twitter's move earlier this year restricting access to the service's API by consumer-focused client applications. "Of course, Instagram's cutting Twitter out to drive traffic to its own site is a taste for Twitter of its own medicine cutting folks out," observed Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land in a tweet.

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