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Instagram reaches 80 million users, but loses Twitter friend-finder feature

Twitter has limited Instagram's access to its API, and the ability to search for your Twitter friends on Instagram is the first casualty.


Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 26, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 1:49 pm CDT

Thursday is turning out to be a mixed day for Instagram.

The photo-sharing community announced it now has 80 million total community members, who’ve shared close to 4 billion photos. However, those tens of millions of people will no longer be able to find out which of their Twitter friends are on Instagram as easily as they used to.

Twitter has limited Instagram’s access to its API (the code that allows third-party applications to connect with Twitter). You can still tweet your filtered photos without a hitch, but Instagram will have to wave bye-bye to the Find Friends on Twitter feature.

You’ll no longer be able to connect your Twitter account to see which of your Twitter friends are also on Instagram.

The move to drop the feature apparently came from Twitter’s end. It follows on from Twitter blocking LinkedIn from syndicating tweets.

It seems there may be a bit of politics at play here. It’s no secret that Facebook is close to sealing the deal on buying Instagram. As TechCrunch points out, Twitter cofounder and chairman Jack Dorsey has a stake in Instagram, making the deal a little complicated.

Twitter confirmed the API restriction, but didn’t comment on the reasons for the decision. The company’s statement read, “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. Photos are still displayed in Tweets.”

(The Daily Dot contacted Instagram for comment, but the company had not responded at time of publication.)

Whether this is part of Twitter’s recent initiative to restrict third-party apps, or perhaps an effort to help Twitter’s own photo-sharing service competitive with the very popular Instagram, still remains to be seen.

We guess Instagram staffers will just have to console themselves with that billion dollars-worth of cash and stock when the Facebook deal goes through.

Photo by Meagan Fisher

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*First Published: Jul 26, 2012, 7:11 pm CDT