Will Photo Filters Bring Down the Tweet Empire?
Recently, Twitter announced the new photo filters that allow users to edit and enhance photos right from the Twitter app on their smartphones. It took approximately one minute for the world to implode, as everyone began to wonder what this meant for Twitter’s previously copacetic relationship with Instagram and, consequently, what it meant for their own ability to distribute visual content on social media.
Not long ago, the social media world was in an uproar because Facebook purchased the Instagram app for a billion dollars and moved the entire team to the Facebook headquarters. For a short time, we all wondered what this might mean for our beloved photo-sharing app, but it turned out to be no big deal. After a few weeks, we all returned to our usual Tweeting and Facebooking ways, still using the Instagram app as we always had.
This time, things are different. This time, the Instagram staff is taking the slight personally. As of Monday, December 10, the formerly friendly partnership between the two fell apart, leaving us all wondering once again what it all means for our social media marketing and communication. As of today, we’re all looking at these potential problems and outcomes:
Kill Two Birds with Two Stones
The connection between Instagram and Twitter allowed users of both social media platforms to communicate with followers of two separate programs with one post. The efficiency in reaching out to two social media groups with one click of a button made the Instagram/Twitter connection exceptionally attractive. We’re busy and important people. We want to do things once and be done with it, which means we’ll all need to make a choice.
Without the ability to post to both platforms at the same time, users will likely choose one or the other. Since Instagram still offers the ability to share on Twitter, most will probably continue to use the app out of habit. The only drawback Instagram users will likely find is that the photo no longer shows up automatically in tweets, but links still lead to the image. The Wall Street Journal also offers up some workarounds, such as uploading your Instagram shots to Pinterest, which will then show up in your Twitter timeline as it always has.
The Case of the Disappearing Photos
A quick glance through your recent images on Twitter will show you any Instagram photos you tweeted in the past are no longer available. For those who used Twitter as the main source of image sharing, this is a serious bummer, since there is now no way to keep all photos together in one place. Many who have been using Twitter to share Instagram photos may simply choose to continue using Instagram so as not to take a chance on losing any more photos in their timelines. For those willing to drop their Instagram addiction, Twitter’s new photo filters look pretty similar. Just remember, if you slack on using one or the other, you’ll miss out on the followers you’ve gained.
Save for the flailings of the overdramatic, the change may not matter in the long run. As consumers, we’re adaptable, and to be honest, we’re all pretty fickle, too. For now, this is the dumbest thing Twitter could ever do to us, but that won’t stop us from using Twitter, Instagram, and anything else that comes along in the future—such as the new Flickr app from Yahoo, which Forbes touts as the best mobile photo app out there at the moment.
Regardless of how we all feel about the changes, we must be ready and willing to adapt. Technology will continue to evolve, no matter what our thoughts may be, and we will all continue to roll with the punches. We watch new social media programs and apps come and go, laugh at or lament their demises, and quickly move on to the next big thing. With 72 million active accounts and 360 million tweets per day, it doesn’t look like Twitter is going anywhere soon.