Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg shocked everyone when he offered to buy Instagram for a billion dollars. A measly mobile app that’s functionality was limited to editing photos and viewing pictures shared by others, Instagram did not seem to have much to offer Facebook. Now, it seems the buy was a move towards social networking dominance.
While Instagram was not a very intimidating competitor, it did threaten to take over a sector of Facebook’s functionality, just as Twitter has done. Twitter has started monopolizing status updates – would Instagram have monopolized photo sharing? Facebook preemptively struck, not waiting to find out what could have been.
And now, it has used Instagram to start a public battle with Twitter. As mentioned in my presentation today, Twitter took some functionality from Facebook by moving status updates to a new platform and ultimately making status updates on Facebook less socially acceptable. It is also rapidly growing, while Facebook seems to be bottoming out.
Instagram announced late last week that it would no longer support sharing through Twitter. While the CEO claimed this move was solely to increase traffic to Instagram’s website, it is clear this act damages the user experience of Twitter. Before Facebook bought Instagram, Instagram and Twitter had a great relationship, as Instagram wanted to reach as many social networks as possible. It worked with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and foursquare to extend its reach. Now, it is only interested in promoting Facebook’s interests and fighting Facebook’s battles.
Most commonly, people post photos on Instagram and then opt to also share these photos on Twitter and Facebook, an act that can be done through a simple button. Now, if people only want to post and edit once, they will need to choose between the Instagram to Facebook combo and Twitter.
The newest update for Twitter includes filters. This seemingly simple change represents Twitter’s acknowledgement of the impending battle Facebook has started. It is clear Facebook wants social media domination, and sees Twitter as a threat to that.