Twitter blocks Instagram's API access for friend finder

Instagram Photo

Is Twitter closing down their open API infrastructure to make competitive moves against threats? That certainly seems like a possibility after disavowing much of their relationship with LinkedIn recently and now by blocking Instagram users from pulling their Twitter friends into the photo sharing app that Facebook bought.

API integration is what makes many services function. Facebook has been known to block API calls (even from Twitter itself) and Google is famously slow to roll out their own API integrations, including limited access to their own social network, Google+. It’s unclear what Twitter is trying to accomplish with these moves, but it would appear that they are starting to play hardball with their own popularity.

According to Techcrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis:

Twitter’s agenda here isn’t at all clear, but one possibility is that it wants to control the photos experience on its platform (and preclude Facebook from doing the same). Selectively limiting API access by company is definitely strange behavior in an ecosystem that thrives on API symbiosis. Imagine if Google just decided to shut off Google Maps access to apps randomly?

If there is no valid reason other than trying to keep competitors down, then this is the type of move that could easily backfire on Twitter.

Written by Sal McCloskey

+Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,

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  • It could backfire yes. It can even discourage people sharing Twitter photos to Facebook. Hence not a single non-Twitter user can see the photos anymore. Twitter is blocking potential Twitter users perhaps because of this move.

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