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Instagram and Twitter Battles Summarized (with info about updates too!)

While Babble and MomCrunch were getting a facelift, the first shots in what might be a long battle were fired between Instagram (which is now owned by Facebook, of course) and Twitter as they fight for our social hearts and minds.

It’s hard to see your friends break up, isn’t it?

In case you missed it, here’s how it’s gone down.

First, in July Twitter revoked Instagram’s API access which meant that you could no longer search Twitter for friends that are also on Instagram. Not a nice move.

Then  just a week ago Instagram stopped allowing photos to appear on Twitter. If you are a person that uses the Twitter homepage (and not a management system like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite), you might have noticed that Instagram pulled its support for “Twitter Cards”, which are those viewing boxes that open up within a tweet. They did this, purportedly, because they want the images to be viewed on Instagram itself, according to Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s founder and CEO.

But there’s so much more!

While Instagram now has lovely profile pages, you still can’t use your Instagram page to scroll through your friend’s images; you can only do that with the phone app (or, of course, a site like Webstagram). So for those of us that kept up with our friend’s photos via Twitter throughout the day, well, that’s no longer an option without clicking away from Twitter.

Then yesterday Instagram uploaded its latest update (v 3.2), adding a redesigned layout, better cropping, and a new filter (Willow). If you haven’t played around with the redesign, it’s really quite nice.

In response, Twitter TODAY released an update that adds… wait for it… the ability to use photo filters similar to Instagram’s when uploading a photo to Twitter. Yes, you can even make it square, and it will open in your Twitter stream on the Twitter homepage in a Twitter card. (Side note: One thing that’s actually really nice about the Twitter filters is that you can actually swipe through the filter changes to see them. Just a small difference, but I actually like it better. Otherwise, it’s not that interesting.)

So, there you have it! The battle thus far. I’m sure it’s not the last; as each of these social networks fight to have a revenue stream, they will be competing for our eyes and our clicks. In the meantime, grab your phone and start playing with these updates. I think you’ll find them enjoyable!

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 Cecily Kellogg also writes at her personal blog, Uppercase Woman.
Find her on Twitter, on Facebook, Pinterest, and on Google+.

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