The world of social media nearly exploded last week when Instagram confirmed that they would no longer support posting Instagram photos directly into a user’s Twitter feed. At the same time, Twitter confirmed a similar announcement that Instagram photos would no longer be seen directly from someone’s feed, oh and by the way, we’re making our own photo service complete with fun filters. Hundreds of users who use both services loudly expressed their outrage, swearing that Facebook was ruining Instagram and vowing to drop using Instagram for photos altogether.

I use Instagram a lot myself as a hobby, as it helps me learn some lighting techniques with photography and the filters are just really a lot fun to play with. It’s also a fun way to share photos with various social media all at once, including flickr and Tumblr. I’ve thought of it as one-stop-sharing for mobile photography that adds a fun element with the filters. So now that I can’t auto-tweet my photos, what does this mean?

First of all, take a deep breath. Secondly, learn exactly what these decisions mean for both Instagram and Twitter.

Twitter has not been removed from Instagram when posting photos. Twitter will still post all auto-tweets from Instagram. All that you’re losing is the ability to see the photos directly from the Twitter feed.

For example, take this charming photo I posted just today of how the US post office treated a package of mine. I posted it directly with a Twitter app, so the photo displays proudly in my Twitter feed.

Photo Directly in Twtter Feed

When you tweeted your Instagram photos, they used to display similarly, right in the feed. Now, in an effort to promote Instagram itself more prominently, only links to your photos appear in your feed.

Instagram Photo Links on Twitter

How big of a deal is this really? To some people, it’s huge. If you use a Twitter client such as TweetDeck, however, you may not notice the difference at all, because photos rarely come through as it is, forcing people to click on links to the photos (even non-Instagram photos) anyway. Coincidentally, if you use TweetDeck, you can see previews to all photos, even Instagram.

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. So I have to click on an external link to see the photos now. So what? The way I see it, if people have to go directly to my Instagram page, then maybe they’ll look through my other photos and like/comment on others. (Yes, I know that’s the content marketer’s mentality, but there’s some truth behind the reasoning.)

Others, however, see this as Facebook’s sly movement toward pulling sharing on Twitter all-together. First they start with embedding the photos, and then they’ll remove the ability to tweet photos completely. I don’t see this happening, because then wouldn’t they also pull the auto-posting to flickr and Tumblr? Or does Facebook not see these social media platforms to be as great of a threat?

What are your thoughts on this social media tiff? Does the fact that you can only post links to your Instagram photos on Twitter make you want to abandon Instagram, or does it not matter to you?


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