When you’re scrambling to boost user numbers and your reputation, turning to a rival to promote yourself might be necessary.
That’s what Twitter executives must have thought when the platform joined Instagram.
When Instagram first arrived on the social media scene, its popularity was fueled by the ability to embed your Instagram pics into your tweets. That feature was short-lived. Competitor Facebook snagged the app in 2011 for a cool $1 billion, and that irked Twitter, which suddenly became unfriendly toward Instagram.
One indication that those tensions might have cooled is that Twitter is now sharing images through its own Instagram account.
Twitter has been losing steam in recent years with declining user numbers and slowing revenues, which has pushed the platform to market itself as a hub for breaking news and unfolding stories.
It has changed the way users’ timelines look and has recently changed the way users find trending stories on its platform with its “Explore” tab.
Explore centralizes trends, moments, searches and video in one location. As Twitter emphasizes its role as a real-time news and events coverage tool, Explore will probably emerge as the home for breaking news and other trending content.
However, the feature will succeed only if Twitter can entice current and new users to check it out. Enter Instagram marketing. Though Twitter’s user numbers are becoming stagnant at just over 300 million users, Instagram’s growth has propelled it to more than 600 million users.
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Using competing platforms isn’t new, either. Instagram has been active on Twitter for several years, and it has amassed more than 40 million followers.
Twitter is just beginning to build its Instagram presence by sharing images such as this:
There is one caveat to Twitter’s move: Advertising Age reported:
Facebook does not let Twitter buy app-install ads on its platform, making an organic account its only real option to reach people on its properties.
Twitter has not made any public statements about its newfound Instagram presence.
What do you think? Will adding user features and promoting itself on other platforms help Twitter save itself, or is the company doomed to suffer a slow, painful death?