Mobli, which is similar to Instagram, got on everybody’s radar thanks to its interesting partnership with Latin America’s largest wireless carrier, America Movil. If you aren’t familiar with America Movil, it’s controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, who regularly trades places with Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.
With about 5 million active users and the America Movil partnership, Instagram might begin to view the app as a threat, which explains why it cut Mobli off from the Instagram API. Before this, Mobli users were able to easily share their content from Instagram to their feeds. Such a move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as we’ve previously seen Facebook cut Vine (owned by Twitter) off from its API. Twitter has also cut Instagram off from its API too.
The API access that was revoked by Facebook and Twitter are all related to finding friends, which could be viewed as a way to lure users off the platform. While the current issue between Mobli and Instagram isn’t related to finding your friends, it could still be viewed as a tool to lure users away. So Instagram’s response isn’t surprising.
It’s also worth noting that Mobli is no saint either, as the company has previously run a campaign with the specific goal of having Instagram users move to it’s platform, along with monetary incentives.