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Twitter kicks Instagram into touch, launches own photo filters

Just days after a falling-out with filter-based photo sharing service Instagram, microblogging site Twitter has launched a rival system for users to edit, tweak and share images directly on their Android or iOS smartphones and tablets.

Twitter's spat with Instagram came to a head over the weekend, when the companies severed ties - preventing Instagram images from appearing directly in Twitter users' timelines. Instead, users had to physically click the Instagram link to load the filter-heavy images in their smartphone's browser.

Late yesterday, Twitter made clear its reasons for not caring about Instagram integration: the launch of its own image-filtering service, powered by Aviary. While offering a more limited range of filters - just eight, ranging from black and white to vintage camera effects - the system integrates directly into Twitter's smartphone and tablet applications on both iOS and Android, with other platforms expected to follow in the near future.

As well as the ability to process images through a series of filters, the update also brings cropping and zooming functionality and an automatic enhancement system designed to balance light and colour levels - something with which smartphone cameras often struggle.

With Twitter addicts, who share updates on their lives in 140-character 'micro-blog' messages, now able to take, edit, filter and share photos directly within the official app, rival services like Instagram will need to work hard to prevent a mass exodus of their user base.

Links to the updated Twitter apps for both Android and iOS are available on the company's official download page.

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