Twitter breaks up with Instagram, sort of

The Find Twitter Friends feature on the photo sharing app is no longer -- for some reason Twitter has cut its API to Instagram.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

As Instagram users update their smartphones with the newest version of the photo sharing app that came out today, they'll see something missing: Find friends on Twitter.

Instead, they'll get a message that says this, "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."

According to TechCrunch, Twitter has decided to turn off its API for Instagram although other social apps, such as The Fancy and Foursquare, still get access.

There could be many reasons for this. It could be Instagram's sheer size -- the photo sharing app announced today that it now has 80 million users; it could be competition with Facebook since Instagram is now owned by the social network giant; or it could be that Twitter wanted more control over user experience on its platform.

A Twitter spokesperson told CNET, "We understand that there's great value associated with Twitter's follow graph data, and we can confirm that it is no longer available within Instagram." This suggests that Twitter wants Instagram to pay (or pay more) for the use of its API.

Twitter pulled a similar move on LinkedIn just last month. Tightening its API, Twitter ended the feature that let LinkedIn users publish tweets to their profiles. People can still broadcast LinkedIn updates to Twitter, just not the other way around.

Come to think of it, this is the same set-up with Instagram -- despite users not being able to find Twitter friends via the app, they can still use Instagram's "Tweet Photo" feature sending photos onto Twitter's network.