TWITTER has introduced a new feature allowing members to apply retro and other filters to their images, replicating Instagram, the popular Facebook-owned photography app which has cut ties with the microblogging network.
The move is part of an effort by Twitter to take more control over its service. It has gradually restricted how much data it shares with outside apps and introduced its own competing versions of them.
The introduction of in-house image filtering software by Twitter was anticipated. Last week Instagram severed a link with Twitter Cards, a system that ensured photographs would be well presented if they were share on Twitter.
Over the weekend it stopped its members embedding photographs in tweets completely. Sharing an Instagram image now means a link is posted.
In a blog post, Twitter said its new in-house filters were provided by Aviary, a third-party photography editing firm and would be introduced to its mobile apps.
“Starting today, you’ll be able to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter,” it said.
It offers eight filters, including “vintage”, “cool”, “gritty” and black and white.
Twitter has increasingly focused on photography, and recently redesigned its website to give images more prominence on profile pages. It is part of a strategy to emphasise “rich” multimedia material, in the hope it will mean members spend more time using Twitter, making it more attractive to advertisers.
Facebook, which bought rapidly-growing Instagram earlier this year, has a similar strategy.
Instagram’s chief executive Kevin Systrom said last week it no longer wanted its members to be able to show their photographs on twitter.
"Really it's about where do you go to consume that image, to interact with that image. We want that to be on Instagram," he said.
As part of its integration plans, Facebook will merge personal data from Instagram accounts with its own. A membership vote on the changes ended on Monday with 88 per cent of almost 600,000 ballots opposed, but under its own rules Facebook will can press ahead as fewer than 30 per cent of members participated.
Christopher Williams Telegraph.co.uk