NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- By now, you probably know the meat of the big social media story: Facebook (FB) owns Instagram. And Facebook cut Twitter off from the wildly popular Instagram photo stream. Twitter responded by debuting photo filtering of its own.
Just to be clear -- as I understand and have tested it, you can still link to an Instagram photo via Twitter (that makes logical sense for Facebook to accept traffic from Twitter), but your Instagram photos no longer show up inside the Twitter platform.
At first glance, Twitter's filtering options stink. That said, they'll probably get better. I can only assume they got rushed out once Twitter received word of Facebook's move. Just because I think they stink doesn't mean others will. Plus, they'll likely grow on me anyway.
In any event, it's going to be interesting to watch the battle between these two companies. For the record, I don't quite get why Facebook and Twitter want to fight one another. They could position themselves as complementary platforms (they are!) and work together to do everything from cross-promote to sell advertising.But that's not how it's going to go. Instead, Facebook, in some respects, is pulling an Apple (AAPL). To a limited, but incredibly meaningful extent Facebook is closing up its ecosystem. It's not only reigning things in via this Twitter/Instagram quirk, but it tossed a similar salvo at Zynga (ZNGA) the other day. Apple succeeds at keeping practically everything under the iOS umbrella because its stuff -- hardware, software, overall user experience, social cachet -- is that good ... that strong. Apple can say with considerable confidence that it does not sell to a fickle market. Outside of iTunes, it really doesn't make sense for Apple to open anything up to anybody or anything outside of iOS. Same goes for OS X. While I believe strongly in Facebook's near- and long-term prospects, I have to wonder if it's putting too much faith in Instagram. Photo sharing, filtering, streaming -- all of that jazz is pretty big. It seems to me that Facebook is making the bet that Instagram is so popular it really doesn't need as strong an association with Twitter. Facebook is not Apple -- yet -- so it best be careful.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV