By Khurram Aziz | Dec 06, 2012 11:04 AM EST
Users can no longer display their Instagram pictures on Twitter properly after the Facebook-owned company disabled its integration with Twitter's cards feature.
The result is that Instagram images are now awkwardly cropped, rather than sitting nicely in the timeline, meaning that users have to visit Instagram itself to see the picture properly.
"Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter," said a status update from Twitter. "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. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped."
However, Instagram's chief executive Kevin Systrom insists that it had anything to do with the two companies being owned by rival social media empires.
"We will always be integrated with Twitter in a way that you can Tweet out from Instagram to Twitter," said Systrom at LeWeb in Paris, as reported by The Verge.
He also made it clear that the change wasn't due to Facebook policy and that it wasn't "actually a consequence of us getting acquired."
Facebook bought Instagram in April this year for $1 billion. The service works as an app for smartphones, allowing users to take pictures, apply filters to them and then instantly share them on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. At the time of acquisition, Facebook claimed 30 million active Instagram accounts with over one billion photographs uploaded.
The app once thrived on Twitter, but media reports speculate that its deintegration from certain Twitter features is part of a large tit-for-tat rivalry between social media companies. In the past, Twitter has blocked services such as LinkedIn and Tumblr from accessing its API and getting details about users on its service. The effect was to prevent rivals from expanding quickly by building on Twitter's social graph.
Instagram itself is becoming a serious rival to Twitter's micro-blogging site, with more mobile users now accessing Instagram on a daily basis than Twitter. Disabling Twitter cards will only increase this trend because users who want to see photos shared on Twitter will now have to click-through directly to Instagram.