Surprise, surprise! There is a new twist in the tale regarding the growing animosity between Instagram and Twitter. Reports have surfaced that Twitter was to buy Instagram weeks before Facebook finally took over the photo-sharing app.
The New York Times has reported that Twitter was in the midst of making a deal with Instagram to buy the company for $525 million in March. A few weeks later, news emerged that Facebook had finally sealed the deal with Instagram for $1 billion. The Times sources expressed shock at the fact that Twitter was not even allowed to bid a higher amount.
Unnamed sources told the Times that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom agreed to a verbal offer of $525 million made by Twitter before calling the whole deal off and announcing that Instagram had decided to ‘remain independent’ on March 20. Therefore, it came as a bolt from the blue when less than three weeks later, Systrom signed a deal with Facebook. People familiar with the negotiations revealed that Twitter executives predictably felt that they had been left high and dry in the entire deal.
Was Twitter supposed to buy Instagram?
This news emerges in relation to the fact that Systrom had told California Corporations Department that the Facebook deal had been made keeping the investors’ best interests in mind and that Instagram had never received any other formal offers.
This hearing was requested by Facebook as a way to speed up the approval of its acquisition. Systrom was under oath at the time. Sources reveal that if this is indeed true, a legal muck awaits the companies ahead.
This comes as an addition to the already raging battle between Instagram and Twitter. Images from social photo sharing app Instagram have disappeared from Twitter as the developers of Instagram have turned off support for the micro-blogging site.
This new development took place in early December and when one went to view their images that had been uploaded on Twitter via Instagram, all they found was a link back to Instagram’s website. Instead of finding an image, users now see a white space where their photos previously appeared.
This move by Instagram had been said to be adopted so that users view the images on their dedicated website and not on Twitter. Instagram started rolling out Facebook-like profiles on the web in early November. The profiles are mainly modelled over the Facebook timeline, with cover photos and the profile picture feature looking identical. The cover photo though runs recent images almost like a slideshow. Users can heart an image or comment on it – these web profiles were something Instagram users had been waiting for.
Twitter, on the other hand, recently announced that a user will now be able to edit and refine their photos right from the Twitter app itself. Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey had recently teased a few images on his Twitter account that showed images with a black and white photo filter and this was evidence enough that the update to Twitter was coming soon, and it did come much sooner than expected.
As of now, only the Android version is available, but in the blog post announcing this new feature, Twitter has specified that it will be available for the iPhone as well.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all declined to comment on the supposed bid made by Twitter to buy over Instagram.