If you're anything like me, you enjoy sharing your photos on social media. You don't want drama, you just want everything to work and the process to be easy.
This week, Instagram shook things up by disabling photo integration with Twitter. If you saw stories or heard people talking about Twitter cards, that's the same thing. Basically, it means photos no longer appear in tweets. Links still appear along with a big blank white space.
Why did this happen?
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told an audience last week at Internet show LeWeb that he's trying to drive more traffic to Instagram's new web experience. If the photos are on Twitter, why would anyone spend time at instagram.com? That seems like a logical question, but here's the problem: While Instagram's web experience is pretty to look at, it's two years too late. There's no way disabling photos in Twitter will drive users away from Twitter and toward Instagram. In fact, the opposite could hold true. Only time will tell.
This week, Twitter released an update that allows users to add filters to photos before they tweet them. Kudos for wanting to keep photos front and center, but Twitter is missing a key point. The reason Instagram is so popular isn't because of the filters. It's because of the community. People are still going to tweet their Instagram photos.
So what does this mean to you? Let's break it down by platform.
Instagram: The user experience hasn't changed. If you use Instagram now and share your photos to other social networks, there's no reason to change that.
Twitter: Its users get the short end of the stick, but there's really no reason to switch to an all Twitter photo workflow. New filters or not, my advice is to continue sharing your Instagram links to Twitter. Systrom says some form of Twitter integration will always remain, so I don't expect sharing to decrease because the look is changing.
Facebook: I have to wonder if Instagram would have made this move if Facebook didn't purchase it. No changes to Facebook sharing from Instagram have been reported at this time. If you haven't tested Facebook's own photo filters, now might be a good time.
As for me, I'll continue using Instagram and engaging with the strong communities I've grown through both my personal account and the Chicago Tribune account. But I've got my eye on you Systrom. I'm making my best McKayla Maroney face. I'm not impressed by this move.
What questions do you have about social media? Tweet them to @scottkleinberg or @amyguth. We might select yours for use in a future column.
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