The short answer – yes, a little. There are rarely moves made by one social company that make me believe they can really hurt another social company, but this one is different.
Instagram’s relationship with Twitter has been one of love and hate since before anyone realized there was a growing tension between the social networking giant and Facebook’s mobile secret weapon. The fact that Twitter added filters to their photo apps will not strain the relationship any further; in essence, there is nothing really left to strain.
Facebook started the ill-will in April when they purchased Instagram. It made sense for Facebook who has always struggled with mobile and was preparing to go public at that point. For Twitter (and Google+), the purchase heightened the need to improve their own mobile photo sharing capabilities. Despite the vehement declarations by both Facebook and Twitter (and Google+) that they do not consider each other a competitor, their actions say otherwise. It was a big blow and Instagram moved to the front of the line of apps that would not be receiving API access from Twitter.
Instagram took their swipe at Twitter last week when they stopped allowing images to appear directly on Twitter. Images posted to Twitter from Instagram now appear as links rather than a part of the timeline itself. Whether it was a preemptive strike from Instagram, a call to expedite the filter capabilities on Twitter, or simply convenient timing, it brings in a convenience factor for users who may have to choose between one or the other.
Users who love Twitter and are light or non-existent on Facebook will make the switch. It’s that simple. The numbers who go dormant on Instagram will not be enough to hurt the company with Facebook in control, but it does pull them down a notch in the importance factor. This comes at a time when the service is already under fire for spam. Between the move away from Twitter, the new Twitter apps, and the spam, Instagram is quickly becoming a one-trick pony.
Thankfully for them, that one trick happens to be the best trick in social media – pictures on Facebook.
Here’s a look at the new Twitter photo apps: