Meet Aviary, Twitter's Answer to Instagram
It's been about eight months since Facebook made the largest purchase in its short company history, acquiring photo sharing and limited-editing service Instagram for the cool sum of $1 billion in stock options and cash. Twitter and Instagram have had a strained relationship that has led to disabling the Instagram photo integration on Twitter starting December 9th. However, Twitter knows how important a simple, powerful, efficient photo sharing and editing service is to social media, and has decided to partner with Aviary - a service very similar to Instagram.
Instagram Photos No Longer Embedded in Tweets
Beginning this past Sunday, Instagram photos can no longer be embedded and viewed directly in tweets. Although Twitter users can certainly still post links to Instagram photos, the last thing Twitter wants is for users to be constantly leaving their pages only to end up on Instagram's, in turn feeding traffic to their biggest competitor, Facebook. Instead, Twitter is hoping to simplify users' lives by integrating Aviary, a simple but powerful photo editing and sharing service, directly into the Twitter application -- and in fact, the updated app is already available from the App Store and Google Play, so you should be able to download the new version of Twitter and start editing and posting photos by the time you read this.
Aviary Launches and Competition Begins
For all practical purposes, Aviary is nearly identical to Instagram. Eight filters are offered initially, including familiar favorites like vintage sepia tone and grayscale, and all editing can be done without leaving the Twitter app. You can also filter photos individually or as a group to maintain cohesion among photo albums, much like in Instagram. Auto-enhance, zoom and crop are also available, and Twitter has released a handy one-minute tutorial video (available at the link above) to teach you the whole process. Instagram took all of a few hours to submit its response to Twitter in the form of a new black-and-white filter, something the service lacked previously. Specifically, the filter is monochrome with a subtle white glow for a border and cool purple hues (did somebody say "high school graduation photos?"). Other updates in Instagram 3.2 include a Foursquare button on local pages linked to the Foursquare app, alternative grid views on user profiles, better tilt-shifting, a grid overlay on the crop and scale screen, an optional grid overlay when taking photos, an upgraded image selector on iPhone 5, and, of course, a hot new look.