In slap at Instagram, Twitter releases own photo tool

New tool released as part of Twitter apps for Apple iPhone and Android; follows Instagram move to pull photos from Twitter

The battle between Twitter and Instagram took another turn late Monday when the social network unveiled its own photo tool.

Just days after Twitter said its users were having problems viewing Instagram photos, particularly cropped images, the social networking firm launched a tool designed to adjust the size, color and style of photos that users are tweeting.

The new tool is available in the latest versions of Twitter for iPhone and Android, which are available immediately.

"Every day, millions of people come to Twitter to connect with the things they care about and find out what's happening around the world," wrote Coleen Baik, a senior designer for Twitter, in a blog post. "As one of the most compelling forms of self-expression, photos have long been an important part of these experiences. Starting today, you'll be able to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter."

The microblogging site specifically points out that users can make changes to their pictures right from Twitter -- without using Instagram.

The new tool comes out immediately on the heels of Instagram pulling all of its photos from Twitter this week. A week earlier, Instagram had disabled a photo integration tool, making it difficult to view photos on Twitter,

While Twitter and Instagram offer benefits to each other, both firms want users to stay on their site.

Observers note that the feud comes a few months after the close of Twitter rival Facebook's $715 million deal to buy Instagram.

And earlier this fall, Instagram may have embarrassed Twitter when it experienced a big uptick in mobile users that pushed the app past Twitter in the race for mobile users.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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