Instagram CEO: Twitter split was intentional but not an act of war

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has confirmed that the Twitter image sharing glitch is an intentional one, suggesting that users will be better served with "the full Instagram experience" if they're pushed to the company's own site. Users of Instagram and Twitter discovered earlier today that links shared via the short messaging service produced incorrectly framed or cropped preview pictures in Twitter's "cards" view system

Twitter said at the time that the dodgy images were down to Instagram "disabling" support for the cards view, something Systrom says is in part because users don't really understand the system in the first place. "Not many people know what Twitter cards are" he said on stage at LeWeb today, The Verge reports, and thus he believes that they're better served being pushed to "where their content lives originally."

Still, it's tough to see this move as anything other than an antagonistic land-grab by Instagram for a greater share of the mobile market. That user-base is something Instagram-owner Facebook has been particularly preoccupied with, facing a growing number of social networkers accessing Facebook from their phone or tablet, but making less money on each visit versus the desktop site.

Nonetheless, Systrom denies that the decision to distance itself from simple Twitter integration was at the mandate of his new Facebook overlords. "This isn't actually a consequence of us getting acquired" he insisted, pointing out that "we have a really good relationship with Twitter" and arguing against suggestions that it was a decision made in spite after Twitter denied Instagram access to the friend-finder API.

For users caught in-between, meanwhile, it seems visiting two sites (or switching between two apps) rather than just one is the name of the game from now on, with usability being the real loser as Twitter and Instagram jostle for position.