The Twitter-Instagram Filter Wars Have Arrived

On the the same afternoon that Instagram updated its mobile apps with a new filter called Willow, Twitter debuted long rumored photo filters of its own — all of which explains the whole dust-up over Instagram photos disappearing from Twitter last week.

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On the the same afternoon that Instagram updated its mobile apps with a new filter called Willow, Twitter debuted long rumored photo filters of its own Monday. And so the social-media filter wars begin. This whole thing heated up last week when Instagram pulled its Twitter Cards, meaning that full images from the photo-sharing app would no longer show up in your Twitter stream (or at least not for long). All of which got a lot of people very upset, but which is suddenly a lot easier to explain now that Twitter has officially taken Instagram's signature thing — a layer that makes your photos instantly better — and integrated it into its platform. Now, instead of having to go through Instagram to tweet a more beautiful image of pizza, or whatever, you can do that right on Twitter. So users have twice the filtration options, which sounds like overkill to us.

Compared to the 20 filters that Instagram offers, Twitter's nine are more limited. But for those who were used to integrating pictures into their tweets, the Twitter app does make a lot of sense. Twitter's feature also included cropping and sizing — something that Instagram only added in its update today. We're not sure it will make sense for most people to use both apps. But some people have completely separate Instagram and Twitter networks, in which case this will actually make things easier. For others, though, the changes will require separate posts if you wan filtered photos to show up in your stream on both networks. It's just a lot of work for a startup war users probably want nothing to do with.

In any case, Twitter has this explanatory video below, if you still need to learn how to share a filtered photo on its primary app.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.