Is Twitter Trying to Be Instagram Now?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has been accused of trying to be Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) lately. Its most recent redesign of user’s profile pages did not help matters with its similarities in design and color to Facebook pages. Now with all of the improvements to its photo capacities, the social media platform seems to be taking a page out of Instagram’s book. Twitter sent out an email to users promoting the new photo features.

The email emphasizes using Twitter for capturing the moment in text and photos. “Twitter is for sharing standout moments. And not just with text. It lets you tell stories — as they happen — with photos. Our new photo features make sharing your pics a snap,” said Twitter in the email.

Twitter’s style in the past as been primarily text-based, despite it having the capability for photo and hosting video. The last redesign brought photo to the forefront by expanding emphasis on photos in Twitter profiles and feeds. The alignment of these elements is like both Facebook and Instagram. The ability to incorporate multiple photos into one post is also Instagram-like.

This promotional email about how to use Twitter did not resonate with some Twitter users. Natasha Lomas over at TechCrunch wrote a scathing response to the email message. “It’s not that the ability to share photos on Twitter is new of course, but this initiative is about educating users what Twitter is for. So basically Twitter is shouting out that it’s FOR all the SAME THINGS you’re already doing on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp,” she wrote.

Twitter seems to be attempting to rebrand itself amid concerns from Wall Street. Its stock price has suffered since its first quarterly report of 2014 revealed that although the company made a profit, monthly active users grew only 6 percent from the previous quarter. Apparently reaching 255 million users is not good enough, despite that making it larger than Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in terms of monthly active users.

Twitter initially began with an emphasis on its micro-blogging. Tweets were and remain limited to 140 characters or less, a length that limited updates to a few sentences. The capability for links, photos and other elements existed, but other social media outlets filled those applications, especially Facebook, the world’s largest social media network. Instagram also filled the photo niche, particularly with its nifty ability to share photos to connected Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts. Twitter was all about text, whether it be breaking news or the snarky comments of personal users.

Sometime along the way, Twitter has begun to emulate other social media networks and other social media outlets began to emulate Twitter, bringing its style into the fold. Hashtags and trending topics are now on Facebook. Hashtags are also a feature of Instagram. Twitter used hashtags before Instagram even launched. Big profile and cover photos are now on Twitter. In all these changes one thing is clear; they all borrow elements from each other.

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