Not that we needed more proof of the animosity social media juggernauts Facebook and Twitter harbor for each other, but it’s reaching a boiling point over this whole who offered what for Instagram when business.
According to the New York Times’ Nick Bilton, who’s working on a book about Twitter, Twitter may have made an offer for Instagram before Facebook’s famous $1 billion purchase of the startup—which would only be an issue because Instagram founder Kevin Systrom testified under oath that it didn’t happen.
The details are complicated—and unlikely to amount to anything. Basically Facebook won out with a higher bid for the photo-snap app that may, thanks to the company’s stock price woes, end up being worth less than what Twitter may have been ready to lay out. The upshot for you and me is that we’ve got ourselves … A TECH FIGHT!
Move over, Apple vs. Microsoft! Step aside, Microsoft vs. Google! Settle down, Amazon vs. Everybody. We’ve got ourselves a good, old-fashioned AJAX ruckus, a straight-up SQL brannigan, a bare-knuckle API donnybrook.
Here are seven fearless predictions for the brewing Social Network War.
1. The first shot fired will come from Facebook when it “accidentally” sets all Mafia Wars, Zombie Wars, Gimp Mayor, Farmville and Werewolf Bar Mitzvah game requests to post to users’ Twitter accounts. It will do so using the chu.mp link-shorteners it purchased from the Northern Mariana Islands just for this purpose.
2. Twitter and its users will retaliate by making the #suckerberg hashtag trend for an evening—until Fail Whale surfaces.
3. After the initial salvos, Google+ will swoop in, positioning itself as the drama-free social media site that lets you focus on photos of kittens instead of the Mark Zuckerberg/Biz Stone pissing match. All users will agree that Google+ boasts superior functionality to other social media, then continue to not use it.
4. Amid controversy that Instagram surreptitiously uses users’ photos for advertising and shares data with Facebook (seriously), the world will remember that they never use most of Instagram’s vaunted filters, and that before Instagram we all pretty happily used Flickr (until Yahoo! tried to kill it). Needless to say, Flickr’s new, improved iOS app couldn’t be coming out at a better time.
5. As hostilities escalate, neither side will take the “nuclear option” off the table. The nuclear option here is a strategy in which users who’ve synced their Facebooks to post to Twitter and vice versa become collateral damage in an infinite loop where a Facebook posting posts to Twitter, which posts to Facebook, which posts to Twitter, ad infinitum, gobbling up server space and bandwidth, bringing the entire networked world to its knees.
7. In a surprise move, Pinterest launches Pinstygram, which naturally trumps all comers almost instantly.