Instagram has fully pulled the plug on Twitter integration, with photos that late last week showed up poorly cropped or aligned now not appearing in the short messaging services "Cards" gallery system at all. The latest escalation of Instagram's attempt to coax users away from Twitter and onto Instagram profiles, the decision has left many users of both services frustrated, adding as it does another few clicks before photos can be viewed. Meanwhile, Twitter is believed to be readying an Instagram alternative of its own, launching in time for the holidays, while clever developers have cooked up an unofficial way to rejoin the two services.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed the split from Twitter was intentional last week, describing it as partly prompted by user confusion about the Cards system. "Not many people know what Twitter cards are" he argued, before going on to suggest that guiding users to Instagram's own site would lead to a better user experience.
Hopes that the vocal outcry on Twitter itself from users might change Systrom's mind were dashed, however, with the preview functionality being disabled completely over the weekend.
"Instagram has disabled photo integration with Twitter. As a result, photos are no longer appearing in Tweets or user photo galleries" Twitter said in a statement. "While tweeting links to Instagram photos is still possible, you can no longer view the photos on Twitter, as was previously the case."
The relatively low-key response from Twitter may be down to the fact that the company is working on its own Instagram-rivaling functionality. A set of photo-editing filters are believed to have been baked into the official Twitter mobile apps, with an imminent launch and a sneaky preview from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in recent weeks.
However, those still committed to Instagram or simply wanting to see the photos of their Instagram-using friends could find salvation in an unofficial Chrome extension, USA Today reports. InstaTwit is a free add-on to Google's browser that restores the previews, though it obviously only works in the browser view of Twitter, not the official apps.