Instagram now translating @mentions to Twitter

In an attempt to make it easier to mention Twitter users in Instagram photo captions, the photo sharing service rolled out an update today.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Many people love sharing their Instagram photos on Twitter and doing so can be easy if someone's Instagram handle is the same as the one they use on Twitter.

But what if they're different? As Instagram notes in a blog post today, that can be a tricky situation. And that's why the hit photo sharing service Facebook bought earlier this year in a stock and cash deal then worth $1 billion has rolled out an update that attempts to better translate @mentions in such situations.

"For photos shared to Twitter, Instagram now translates @mentions for users whose Twitter username and Instagram username differ," Instagram wrote in the post, adding that if the @-mentioned person has linked the two services, the person's Instagram ID will show up in the photo's caption, and the user's Twitter handle will appear in the tweet.

But if the person hasn't linked Instagram and Twitter, the "@" symbol will be excised from the ID when shared on Twitter. And when @mentions don't match any existing Instagram IDs, the tweet will still retain the "@" symbol in the user name.