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Thread started by Dave Winer on Wednesday, December 05, 2012.

Twitter and Instagram break up

A picture named webdead.gifNick Bilton at the NYT reports that Instagram removed their Twitter cards metadata from their pages. This means that to view pictures taken by users in Instagram, you'll have to visit the Instagram site.

Forgotten in the drama is: 1. Users and 2. the web.

Having our pictures show up in Twitter isn't always the right thing. For example, when I link to a Flickr picture from a tweet, they take the picture from Flickr and show it directly in Twitter, without the reader having to visit the Flickr site. As a photographer, I would prefer this feature not be there, so people can comment on the pictures in Flickr, where there is no 140-character limit, and where the comments will have a relatively long period of visibilty. In Twitter they scroll off very quickly.

I don't use Instagram, so I don't have an opinion about whether my (non-existent) Instagram pictures show up in Twitter.

I also think it's good for the web if there's separation between these websites. Twitter is rapidly becoming something bigger than the web, sort of a mega-web. That's not cool. The thing I liked about Twitter re Facebook is that it was a way of pointing people to other sites. Over time, they've stopped doing that so much. That has meant that we've only got 140 characters to play with. Some ideas require more than that. Only very simple ideas can be expressed in such limited space.

2005: "People come back to places that send them away."

So it's not black and white. Not "Twitter Bad" or "Instagram Bad." Imho the only thing that's bad is the lack of diversity. These sites are growing too large, and we're growing too dependent on them. And as often happens in tech, the users and open standards become an afterthought to the warfare between large companies. But the good news is that this kind of fighting is a sign of an implosion coming soon, and a new period of expansion and innovation. When companies and the press become too focused on each other, and forget the users, the users seem to always break out, and invent a new layer.

Hugh MacLeod: "Billionaires squabbling about who gets to own the commons."

Rene Ritchie: "Twitter doesn¹t want eyeballs on third-party clients. Instagram doesn't want eyeballs on Twitter. No one cares what the eyeballs want."

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