By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 10, 2012 12:05 PM EST
Instagram photos went M.I.A. on Twitter, as the photo-sharing company turned off all support for the popular micro-blogging site.
Facebook, who now owns Instagram, has ended all support for Twitter cards, which means that Twitter users are no longer able to view Instagram photos within their Twitter feeds. Instead, users are greeted by a white space where the image was supposed to appear.
Twitter explained the move in a blog post on Sunday, Dec. 9, casting away all doubts that this might be a temporary error.
"Instagram has disabled photo integration with Twitter. As a result, photos are no longer appearing in Tweets or user photo galleries. While tweeting links to Instagram photos is still possible, you can no longer view the photos on Twitter, as was previously the case," explained the photo-sharing company.
As a Facebook representative pointed out, last week Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom discussed the matter at LeWeb conference in Paris. According to him, one of the main reasons behind Instagram's decision to cut off the Twitter card integration was that his service wants its users to view their photos on its own Web site, not on Twitter.
"Really it's about where do you go to consume that image, to interact with that image. We want that to be on Instagram," explained Systrom. "What we realized over time is we really needed to have an awesome Web presence."
Moreover, Instagram's move also comes as the micro-blogging site has been restricting access to third-party tweeting software, as well as limiting the access third-party companies such as Instagram get to its users' lists of followers. In another move last week, Instagram stopped using Twitter's cards features, no longer allowing Twitter users to see full versions of photos shared with Instagram.
Twitter's cards feature rolled out back in June, allowing partner Web sites to display their content in a "more engaging way." Basically, this feature allows Twitter users to expand tweets of participating companies and see content previews, images, videos, and other information. The photo offering of the card feature puts an image in the center of a tweet, but as of last week this functionality is no longer available with Instagram photos.
Users can still take a photo with Instagram and automatically upload it to their linked Twitter accound, but their message will appear on the micro-blogging site with the standard "instagr.am" link to the pic rather than actually displaying the image.
Twitter, however, seems determined to rival Instagram directly, by offering its own sets of photo filters through its mobile apps.