In what’s become one of the most amusing contests in tech, Twitter and Instagram have gotten into what can only be described as a playground shoving match, that actually started, instead of ended, with Instagram taking its ball and going home.
The problem is twofold: One, Instagram is wholly owned by Facebook. And two, Twitter is actually really popular for sharing photos, and when photos are shared on Twitter, it tends to be through Twitter, not Instagram.
So, Instagram, being run by grown adults, decided to declare war by screwing up how users photos look on Twitter. You know, because dragging your customers into a corporate argument always ends well, makes you look good, and is a totally awesome idea.
To be fair, the “wonky” results are largely… well…
This isn’t exactly severe distortion. If you squint you’ll notice the photo is squashed slightly on Twitter.
Needless to say, this is about ego, but it’s also about money:
On the one hand, Twitter is feverishly trying to boost its ad revenue, and anything it can do to make using its service more attractive to more audiences is a good thing from the perspective of brands and other advertisers. For its part, at a final price tag of $715 million in Facebook stock and cash, Instagram isn’t just a Zuckerberg vanity acquisition. Instagram displays no ads and has no clear revenue model. That will have to change, and sooner rather than later.
If we had to pick a side, Twitter is pretty much the winner here, and not just because Instagram users tend to be elitist dicks. They’re not the ones who chose to annoy their users (well, in this case). Although most of what Instagram users are churning out won’t really suffer if it’s not in the proper aspect ratio, it must be said.