Why You Can't See Instagram Photos on Twitter Anymore

Instagram has suddenly — and suspiciously — removed its photos from your Twitter stream. What does Facebook have to do with all this?

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Instagram has suddenly — and suspiciously — removed its photos from your Twitter stream. It remains unclear whether this is a permanent move, as Instagram declined to comment — as did its new parent company, Facebook, which would surely prefer that your favorite photos show up on their stream instead.  But in a brief announcement Wednesday morning, Twitter makes it sound like Instagram may have revoked its "Twitter Cards" for good — "disabling" is not exactly something tech companies do temporarily these days.

Update 10:30 a.m.: Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has now confirmed the change. "It's the correct thing for our business to do at this time," he said at a conference today. So, the move is permanent and not a glitch. Sad! Systrom also made it clear this has nothing to do with the Facebook acquisition nor because of bad blood between Twitter and Instagram. (Not sure we believe that one.) Rather, he talked it up as a "user experience" thing. He thinks that looking at pretty photos on Instagram is nicer than through Twitter. (Of course he does...)

That would be is a huge bummer, of course, considering how well Instagram and Twitter worked together to bring us the information during Hurricane Sandy and the election. A lot of those incredible and incredibly fake photos from Instagram made their way around the Internet through the social media site. Of course, people can still link to photos on the site without the feature — Wednesday's move just means that it won't show up in that expanded format and instead will redirect people to an Instagram page. It's a sneaky move, if you think about it: Instagram would rather shove people over to its site than keep them on Twitter's.

It makes sense that Instagram would decide to revoke some of its Twitter compatibility, since the two companies have gotten more competitive, of late. Earlier this month, Twitter said it would add filters to images. Instagram is also trying to become more like Twitter, launching Web profile pages this fall that make it more than a smartphone app. Also, let's not forget that Instagram belongs to Facebook now, it's not about to get all close with Twitter, now is it?

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