Facebook's Instagram cuts back Twitter support

Cut: the ability to embed an Instagram photo in a tweet or "Twitter card"

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Instagram has scaled back support for Twitter.

Pictures from the popular photo sharing service can no longer be displayed as cards, or embedded in a tweet on Twitter.

Instagram was bought by Facebook for $US1 billion cash and shares in April (the deal closed for $US715 million as the social network's shares slid).

At the time it bought Instagram, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post: "We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks."

He has evidently changed his mind. It would seem rivalry between Facebook and Twitter trumps the network effect.

In a statement, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said his company had decided that its users should view photos on Instagram's own site.

"We believe the best experience is for us to link back to where the content lives," Mr Systrom said.

"A handful of months ago we supported Twitter cards because we had a minimal web presence."

Mr Systrom said Instagram users could still share photos via Twitter, just not embedded in tweets (which allows someone to see the photo as part of the tweet, rather than having to click on a link to see it).

Instagram claims 100 million users worldwide.

Yesterday, Nielsen told NBR ONLINE the service had 164,000 unique New Zealand users during October.

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