Twitter fills Instagram void with in-house photo filters
Twitter is rolling out new mobile photo editing features that effectively replace functionality lost after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-owned image sharing service Instagram disabled all Twitter integration.
Developed in partnership with photo editing tools provider Aviary, the new features are built directly into Twitter's mobile social networking apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, and enable users to re-imagine smartphone photos by applying any one of eight filters ranging from black-and-white to vintage. A single grid view option depicts how each filter would affect the image, and users may crop and zoom photos to further refine their work. Twitter is also adding auto-enhancement tools to balance light and colors.
This weekend, Instagram terminated Twitter support, meaning its 100 million-plus iOS and Android users may no longer view photos via the microblogging platform. The move followed days after Instagram pulled the plug on Twitter card integration; the cards, introduced this summer, allow correct content formatting, as well as other media interactions and enhancements. A Twitter spokesperson told SFGate that the new photo filters are not a direct response to Instagram's snub, stating that Twitter and Aviary began designing the editing tools months ago.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said last week the decision to halt Twitter support is intended to help establish the Instagram platform beyond its signature smartphone applications. "A handful of months ago, we supported Twitter cards because we had a minimal Web presence," Systrom said. "We've since launched several improvements to our website that allow users to directly engage with Instagram content through likes, comments [and] hashtags, and now we believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives."
Speaking at the recent LeWeb conference in Paris, Systrom added the change was his decision and not an order from Facebook, which acquired the firm this year for $715 million. "This is not a case of Facebook putting some sort of policy on Instagram," he said. "And this isn't a consequence of us getting acquired."
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