There’s usually something at the cause of a shift in pattern, and looking past Black Friday’s whirlwind, there was a definite shift in consumer…
It may just be an example of a serious first world problem, but Instagram’s decision to disable Twitter card functionality now means that you won’t see those delightful little square images pop up in your mobile or desktop feed any more. Instead, you’ll only see a standard instagr.am link, and you’ll have to click through to Instagram’s redesigned website to see the image. Shudder.
It’s all part of what Instagram claims is a move to improve its users’ experience, but which is just annoying for general Twitter users who want to see the image someone is tweeting about without having to click out of Twitter and wait for another page to load. Fortunately, there are already a number of workarounds if you’d like everything to continue to work the way it did previously.
If you’re willing to sign up for another service, this IFTTT (If this then that) workaround will ensure your filtered snapshots appear on Twitter as long as you include a specific tag in the caption (like “#twitter”). For this recipe to work, you need to link your Twitter and Instagram accounts and enable a trigger (whatever hashtag you’d like) that will execute a command to display the Twitter card automatically every time you use it, by converting your Instagram image into a Twitter pic.
If you’re a Chrome user (sorry, Firefox and IE fans), you can simply install an extension called InstaTwit, refresh Twitter, and carry on. The extension recognises the instagr.am photo URLs in tweets and when you expand the tweet, it will load the image underneath it.
If you’re an iPerson, you may want to consider switching to a third party app for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Apps like Tweetbot are still displaying the image previews alongside Instagram links, which may or may not be worth the US$2.99 you’ll need to pay for the app.