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Did Twitter's founder reveal its would-be Instagram killer?

Reports suggest Twitter plans on releasing its own photo filters feature by year's end, and co-founder Jack Dorsey may already be posting photos using it.

Photos tweeted today by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey may have been generated using the service's rumored photo filters.
Jack Dorsey

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey may have dropped the first public proof that Twitter is getting ready to release its own photo filtering feature, a tool it hopes could help in its increasingly tense battle with Instagram.

A report published today by All Things D suggested that informed sources have said that Twitter plans to launch its photo filtering tool before year's end. A series of black-and-white photos tweeted by Dorsey today appear to have been created using Twitter's own photo hosting service, That would mean that Dorsey, who has largely relinquished his operational role at Twitter, and who is the founder and CEO of mobile payments startup Square, may well have been using the rumored new tool.

As All Things D wrote:

Twitter is making a big push to release a series of photo filters to be used inside the official Twitter app before the end of the year, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The goal is to release the camera filters in an application update in time for the holiday season, these sources say. The new version of the app is currently in testing, which may be why we're seeing Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey post so many black-and-white filtered photos of his Square employees (not to mention the wing of his plane at takeoff, posted just this Saturday morning).

The New York Times first reported the rumors of Twitter's photo-filtering initiative last month.

If the All Things D and New York Times reports are correct, it would be the latest salvo in the escalating war between Twitter and Instagram. Earlier this week, Instagram deactivated Twitter Card integration, a step that resulted in Instagram photos showing up poorly cropped in tweets. The goal, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, was to get more of his company's users utilizing the service on the Web. But it was also clear Instagram wants to wean its users off of Twitter.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment this evening.

It appears that executives at Twitter are eager to push out major new features by year's end. In several speeches, CEO Dick Costolo has said that he is intent on making users' entire tweet histories available by the end of the year. And if the All Things D report is true, the company also wants its photo filtering tools in users' hands by New Year's. "Why push it out before the new year? Perhaps Twitter wants a cut of the inevitable jump in photos we'll see as everyone goes home for the holidays," All Things D wrote. "Instagram, for instance, saw more than 200 Thanksgiving-related photos posted to its service every second on Thanksgiving Day alone, and ten million Thanksgiving photos posted overall that day."