Instagram links used to show up in tweets in the past with a full-sized image preview, and the preview often took the user onto Instagram’s website or opened the app on a mobile device. The image preview was later removed, forcing users to only see the link itself without a preview, which meant that users were now forced to open the link to get a glimpse of what the image may be. The “feature” is now re-enabled as Instagram seems to have changed its mind about the situation.
Instagram announced the new feature in a tweet that image previews are now back on Twitter. The Tweet said that “When you share an Instagram link on Twitter, a preview of that post will appear”. It’s unclear what motivated the company to re-roll out the feature since it disabled it back in 2012 when it was it wanted to drive more people to its website and applications.
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
It’s unclear what inspired Instagram to re-implement this forgotten feature and innovate in such great ways, after all, an embed image preview like this only requires a few extra lines of HTML code. Implementing this would’ve only required very little resources for a company that earns billions of dollars of ad revenue. The image preview would’ve made so many people’s lives easier, but we’ll just stop complaining, it’s finally back, and it’s great see.
After taking nine years to implement and roll out the image preview feature, it remains to be seen when the app will receive official support and its own dedicated app on iPads. We don’t see the chronological post order coming back anytime soon either.
It’s interesting to see the feature enabled again on Twitter, the image previews and other embeds are still not working and have been disabled altogether in Facebook Messenger, but not on Facebook itself. Meanwhile, WhatsApp often supports most image previews in an embed form, which makes all of this weird.