Yesterday Twitter announced a big update to its mobile app that lets users add filters to photos before tweeting them. The filters make your photos look a lot like Instagram photos, and intentionally so. Instagram, which Facebook acquired back in April, has grown to more than 100,000,000 users — and Twitter thinks it has figured out why. Google also took note of Instagram’s runaway success and acquired Snapseed, an excellent app for editing and applying filters to photos. But Twitter’s wrong, and so is Google. It’s not about the filters.
Instagram is winning because of the photo-centric community it has built. Instagram created its own medium — a photo stream — that’s easily digestible while exerting minimal brain power….