Instagram and Twitter link previews are working again! Now sharing an Instagram post on Twitter actually renders the linked media instead of just showing URL text. For the past nine years, posting such links did nothing—in place of rich link previews, you saw raw Instagram links. But the companies are now having a change of heart.
- In 2012, Instagram disabled rich previews of posts on Twitter
- Instagram’s founder Kevin Systrom himself made the call
- Nine years later, rich link previews are officially back
Rich previews of Instagram posts on Twitter are back
Both companies announced the change today, with the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service confirming that sharing an Instagram link on Twitter will now indeed cause a preview of that post to appear as a Twitter card. “If you want to share your latest Instagram post on the Twitter timeline too, you’re in luck: Now when you share a link to an Instagram post in a tweet, it’ll show up as a card with a preview of the photo,” according to respective announcements shared by both Twitter and Instagram.
This works across Twitter’s mobile apps for iOS and Android, and on Twitter.com. As you can see for yourself, the card includes a preview of the Instagram image referenced by the link. This is way better than seeing just the URL text. It’s hard to tell whether this is one of the ways Facebook plans to charm regulators. Instagram co-founder and former CEO Kevin Systrom personally made the decision to kill these previews nine years ago after his company was acquired by Facebook, now rebranded Meta.
They said it would never happen… Twitter Card previews start rolling out TODAY. 👀
Now, when you share an Instagram link on Twitter a preview of that post will appear. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/XSZRx9dzd1
— Instagram (@instagram) November 3, 2021
I tested this at post time by sharing an Instagram image link via Twitter, but it still showed up as a regular, boring link which takes the visitor to said post on Instagram.com. The companies are saying that this feature release is staggered, meaning rich link previews will roll out to users in stages before becoming available to everyone.
This is how things should have always been. That said, we’re certainly glad that this silly internet brawl has come to an end. The whole standoff was nonsensical to begin with, inconveniencing users who just wanted to brag about their latest Instagrams on Twitter but couldn’t because Instagram had stubbornly refused to turn the feature back on.