Social media drama reached a new peak this week, as tension between Twitter and Instagram escalated, now resembling a mid-afternoon soap opera.
Recently, Instagram disabled the ability for Twitter to display Instagram photos on its website and in its mobile applications. The move puts the two social platforms at greater odds – a battle that began when Facebook acquired Instagram and the two social networks became direct competitors.
Twitter acknowledged the riff in a recent status update on its website, where the microblogging company said Instagram had disabled its integration with Twitter cards.
Instagram’s Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said that his company had removed its integration features with Twitter, and he plans to completely cut off embedding capabilities on Twitter’s website, at the LeWeb technology conference.
Systrom noted that with the launch of Instagram’s website, the company decided that it’s better to direct users to that web page, rather than Twitter apps or its website. Of course, Instagram users can still Tweet their photos, but when followers click on their Instagram links, they’ll navigate out of the Twitter site or app and to Instagram’s web properties.
The division has consequences for both social networks. In Nielsen’s recent “The Social Media Report,” data shows that internet users spent approximately 3.6 billion minutes using Twitter in the past year – a 48 percent year-over-year increase. With social users dedicating more time to their Twitter accounts, Instagram could lose a portion of its audience to Twitter.
On the other hand, Brafton reported that Instagram surpassed Twitter in terms of mobile web traffic in August 2012. Data from comScore showed that Instagram averaged 7.3 million mobile website visits every day in August, compared to Twitter’s 6.9 million unique visits.
The clear-cut losers in this division are social media users. Marketers will also face new challenges, as developing integrated campaigns using both Twitter and Instagram will require some careful thought. However, custom content can reconnect both platforms and create a seamless user experience. Brands that manage thorough content marketing campaigns realize social media content is essential for brand awareness.
By posting article links to Twitter, users can navigate away from the app to branded content that includes visual media, and benefit from Twitter cards. Similarly, brands can post links in Instagram photos’ captions that drive traffic to separate landing pages. Brands can create unique places for their consumers to learn about their products and services by establishing credible blogs that avoid social media drama. Marketers who post articles to their social news feeds that lead to their websites encourage engagement outside of all the social drama.