SAN FRANCISCO - A social media feud between Twitter and Instagram has escalated as the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service made it impossible for Internet users to integrate images from tweets.
Instagram, which has some 100 million users, is seeking to route photo viewers to its own website, where it has the potential to make money from ads or other mechanisms, instead of letting Twitter get the benefits.
Previously, Instagram pictures shared in messages tweeted from smartphones could be viewed unaltered at Twitter.
Twitter indicated in a status update Sunday that Instagram had "disabled photo integration with Twitter" and that "as a result, photos are no longer appearing in Tweets or user photo galleries."
"While tweeting links to Instagram photos is still possible, you can no longer view the photos on Twitter, as was previously the case," Twitter said.
Last week, Instagram had made it more difficult to view pictures in tweets, with the images cropped from the posts called Twitter Cards. By Sunday, the images were no longer viewable.
The move escalates the battle between the smartphone app Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook this year, and the popular message service Twitter.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told a Paris conference last week that the move was part of a shift by the photo app to direct more users to the Instagram site.
Instagram rose to stardom with the help of Twitter, but has distanced itself from the one-to-many text messaging service since being acquired by leading social network Facebook.
Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram in September. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network's share price.
Instagram last month was given a Facebook spin with the roll-out of online profiles that let people showcase themselves and photos they've taken with the smartphone application.
People can share their profiles with whomever they wish as well as "follow" other Instagram users, commenting on or expressing "likes" for pictures.
A distinctive feature of Instagram is that it allows uses sharing smartphone snaps to enhance them with image filters to mimic historic types of film.