Twitter Fires First Shots Against Instagram/Facebook
Someday, your children will ask you “where were you when the first shots of the great Twitter Wars were fired?” Well, if you’re reading this from Britain, you were probably in bed, but fired they were last night, as Twitter disabled access to parts of its network for the Facebook-owned photo sharing app Instagram.
TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis reports:
Instagram has just announced 80 million users and a new app update; Noticeably missing in the update? The “Find Your Friends” on Twitter feature, which allowed users to follow the same people they follow on Twitter on Instagram.
The “Tweet Photo” feature is still available.
We’ve learned that the feature is missing due to API restrictions from Twitter’s end…
The official word from Twitter, as told to The Next Web’s Brad McCarthy:
We understand that there’s great value associated with Twitter’s follow graph data, and we can confirm that it is no longer available within Instagram.
Twitter is, it appears, deathly serious about consolidating its users into one big, official-client using, advertising-watching mass of people. It announced earlier this month that it was going to be severely restricting API access - the method by which apps communicate with the network - to unofficial apps like Hootsuite, Tweetbot and Ubersocial “replicate the experience of using twitter.com”.
Now it apparently wants to protect its “follow graph”, the information about who follows who, as well. What’s interesting is that this is not a blanket change to the API. Smaller apps, like the reading service Instapaper, still have access to the follow graph, and are using it in the same way Instagram has been banned. This is a surgical strike against Facebook.