Instagram gets the cold shoulder as Twitter blocks "find friends" API

Candice McMillan
Jul. 30 2012, 11:00AM EDT

Instagram is reveling in its celebration of reaching 80 million users, but could Twitter's recent revocation mean that Instagram finds itself caught in the middle of a Facebook vs Twitter war?

Instagram

With Instagram's new App update, the "find your friends" on Twitter is very obviously missing. This is due to restrictions from Twitter's side, and seems to be a snub in Instagram's direction as many apps, like Foursquare, still have access to this part of the API. It seems a very strange move as Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, is an investor in Instagram. Maybe it's more to do with the fact that Facebook acquired Instagram earlier this year, and it's no secret that Facebook and Twitter aren't exactly looking out for the other's best interests. Or, maybe it's just that Instagram wasn't paying enough for what Twitter terms as the "great value associated with Twitter’s follow graph data". Tech Crunch notes that, "Still, Facebook has done similar to Twitter in past years. For example, it blocked Twitter’s access to Facebook’s in-app friend finder feature in June of 2010".

Either way, the fact remains that while the "tweet photo" feature is still available on Instagram, the "find your friends" feature is not. When trying to activate this feature, users will be met with the following statement on their screens: "Unable to find friends. Twitter no longer allows its users to access this information in Instagram via the Twitter API. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Twitter find friends API for Instagram

But this isn't going to be a huge issue for Instagram, and according to CEO of Facebook, Kevin Systrom, it seems further improvement plans are in the making. He stated, "It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience".

Candice McMillan

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