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Photos, Sharing, and PR
By: Mike Bush
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Apparently, Instagram has told Twitter that the photo editing and sharing site is taking its ball and going home. In an update to Instagram’s service, they are no longer using Twitter’s defined sharing tools, and as such, Instagram photos no longer appear within Twitter feeds (you have to leave Twitter’s site in order to see a photo the people you follow have uploaded).
 
First off, who cares? Seriously, the New York Times ran a story about how Instagram and Twitter aren’t playing nice. Isn’t there more, I don’t know…important news to be covering? The economy, global warming, the Grammys, the MLB Winter meetings, Sandy recovery efforts? At the end of the day, if either Twitter or Instagram disappeared or a few days, would the world end?
 
I digress
 
Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for Instagram to pull the plug. This isn’t so much about Instagram as it is about Facebook vs. Twitter. When Facebook spent $1 billion to buy Instagram, the message was quite clear to users:
 
All your photos are belonging to us!
 
This fits in with Facebook’s desire to basically be the hub for an individual’s personal content; their likes, their pictures, their relationships and social graph, their career decisions, life events, etc. And really, while Google is doing their darndest with Google+, the only company standing in Facebook’s way (right now) is Twitter.
 
While Facebook/Instagram made the decision here, I think it’s important to note that the actual experience is on Twitter. My guess is that there are a lot of folks on Twitter who don’t really understand this was a decision made by someone outside Twitter, and that those folks are looking to place the Fail Whale squarely on the shoulders of Twitter. (Facebook essentially made the decision to lessen the experience on Twitter...it’s fighting dirty, but it makes sense)
 
Beyond that, though, there may be some implications for PR professionals who use social media for their clients. If you’re looking to put together a full consumer-facing social media campaign, you need to make sure you’ve dedicated resources to each of these sites, because Twitter and Facebook aren’t going to be friends.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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