The battle between Instagram and Twitter has re-ignited once more, with Twitter launching a number of new photo sharing features for its social networking service.

In retaliation to a move by Facebook owned Instagram which stopped users integrating their Instagram images into tweets, Twitter has hit back by launching a range of new services replicating many that Instagram previously provided users with.

The move is part of a strategy by Twitter to claim more control over its service and stand up as a legitimate rival to Instagram for photo sharing and filtering.

The link between Instagram and the Twitter Card service was severed last Wednesday (Dec 5), with Instagram founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom saying the move was part of an evolution of where the firm wanted ‘links to our content to go’.

The service completely prevented users embedding photographs into tweets over the weekend – instead, when a user adds an Instagram image to their tweet, it simply generates a link.

Twitter Cards allows developers to use the system to embed their content directly into the Twitter stream rather than adding a link. The system was brought in by Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, as a way of further monetising the popular social media platform.

In a blogpost Twitter said that it was working with Aviary, a third-party photography editing firm, to provide users with new photo editing tools including eight filters and many other features similar to what was previously offered on the service by Instagram.

It wrote: “Every day, millions of people come to Twitter to connect with the things they care about and find out what’s happening around the world. As one of the most compelling forms of self-expression, photos have long been an important part of these experiences.

“Starting today, you’ll be able to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter.”

With a continued push for image use in Twitter this move means the platform will aim to go head to head with Instagram in regards to mobile photo filtering and sharing.

With the use of Twitter Cards as well, Twitter allows users to use it as another platform for a firm’s Internet marketing, by allowing to produce multimedia rich tweets with the use of a few lines of code. This has been designed to help firms boost traffic to their site and increase Twitter followers via content distribution.

With the photo apps available Twitter hopes to further increasing non commercial usage of the platform as well, which the firm hopes will draw in more advertising money to the platform. With such a wide base of users, there is certainly a lot of potential to attract advertisers if the service takes off in a similar way to Instagram.

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