Twitter and Instagram clash again, this time over photos in tweets

You may have noticed this morning that Instagram photos are not displaying properly in your Twitter feed. That’s because Instagram has disabled that feature on its photos, according to a status update on Twitter’s blog Wednesday morning.

According to Twitter:

Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter. Issues include cropped images. This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped.

Twitter cards are what allow excerpts or other features, like images, to be shown in the expansion section when you click on a tweet.

Twitter has been increasingly prickly about how developers and companies are able to access and use its platform, and the company has taken steps to rein in control of how tweets are displayed. But things have been particularly tense between itself and Instagram, especially after Facebook(s FB) acquired Instagram earlier this year. In July, Twitter blocked Instagram users from being able to find Twitter friends through the photo-sharing service.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom explained the move as fitting with the company’s recent rollout of web-based Instagram profiles. “This is an evolution of just where we are and where we want links from our content to go,” he said in an interview on stage at Le Web Paris Wednesday. Where he wants users to go?

While he took pains to emphasize that this isn’t retribution toward a competitor (“We will always be integrated with Twitter in a way that you can tweet out a photo from Instagram to Twitter,” he assured), Systrom also said that there was no plan to display Instagram images any differently on two other major social networks that his service feeds images to: Tumblr or, obviously, Facebook.

He also asserted that this was not a case of its parent company Facebook sending down an order from on high. “This decision is definitely coming from me,” he said. “This is not a case of Facebook putting some sort of policy on Instagram. This is not a consequence of us getting acquired. This is a consequence of us doing the best thing for our business at this time.”

Updated at 7:23 a.m. PT with comments from Systrom.