Instagram and Twitter break up, the Pope joins Twitter, and Google+ is still trying | This Week in Social Media

Instagram disables support for Twitter cards

Images shared to Twitter from popular mobile-based photo-sharing application Instagram will no longer display in-stream on a user’s newsfeed, Mashable reports. Facebook—the company that recently acquired Instagram for $1 billion—confirmed Sunday that Instagram has completely turned off support for Twitter Card technology.  Twitter Cards are the technology that makes it possible for users of the microblogging platform to seamlessly experience media in their feeds, by attaching a “card” to tweets that link to articles, photos, or video content. Instagram photos shared through Twitter will no longer appear in tweets or in user photo galleries, to the disappointment of many users.

The Pope tweets

The Vatican announced this Monday that 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI will beginThe Pope tweets tweeting under the handle @Pontifex, a term for the pope that means “bridge builder” in Latin. The pope’s account has already accrued over 500,000 followers. He is expected to send his first tweet on December 12. Members of the public can direct questions to Pope Benedict via the hashtag #askpontifex, according to Vatican officials. Many Twitter users have already submitted tremendously insightful questions, including queries about toilet paper replacement and McRib sandwiches.

Google+ introduces communities

This week fledgling social network Google+ announced the addition of Communities, which are basically Facebook groups. Communities differ from Google+’s flagship feature, Circles. Whereas Circles allow users to control which information they share with different categories of connections, Google+ Communities offer a user the opportunity to join like-minded groups of Google+ users. New Communities can be established with varying degrees of privacy:  completely private, private but searchable, public with moderator approval requirements, and completely public. Community members will be able to initiate Google Hangouts (video chats) with their community, in addition to being able to share content directly with a Google+ Community from any +1 button on the web.