Twitpic saga comes to an end with alleged killer Twitter turning saviour

27 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

TwitPic photo archive saved by Twitter in last-minute deal.

Twitpic itself has been forced to close down following a trademark dispute with Twitter, and it has been announced that hosting of the archive of 800 million pictures will stay in place “for the time being”. The future of Twitpic has been hanging in the balance for several months, but the service will now officially (for real, this time) shut down, and hand over its photo assets to Twitter.

PHOENIX-WANNABE Twitpic has revealed, once again, that it cannot continue as a business, but it did have something positive to say about Twitter for a change in its closing statements.”I’m happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being,” Twitpic founder Noah Everett said in a blog post.The original image-sharing service for Twitter has secured a last-minute deal with the social network, ensuring that all 800m photos on the site will stay online.

If you’re still using Twitpic as the image host in your third-party Twitter client, now is very much the time to change your settings, as Twitpic will shortly be closing down for good. Twitpic has fluttered around like a wounded sparrow pretty much since Twitter did its own photo uploads and persisted in not being very friendly to third-party developers.

The third-party service, which allowed people to attach photos to their tweets, had encouraged users to export their photos before the service was scheduled to shut down on Oct. 25. Plus, it sounds as though Twitter doesn’t plan to hold on to those images forever, so it might be a good idea to head to the settings page of your Twitpic account and export your personal archive to your hard drive. Users can still log into their profile to delete content—or an entire account—and export and download a data/photo archive. “I want to say thank you to everyone who has used Twitpic over the years and for your patience with us over the last couple of months,” Everett wrote. “As you know it’s been quite the roller coaster ride.” In early September, the photo-sharing service announced plans to shut its doors on Sept. 25, after more than six years in service.

Twitpic’s iOS and Android apps have also been removed from app stores. “Twitter shares our goal of protecting our users and this data,” Everett said. “Also, since Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, it makes sense to keep this data with Twitter.” Earlier this year, Twitter beefed up its photo capabilities, allowing users to add up to four photos in one tweet and the ability to tag as many as ten friends in an image. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows companies to object to certain trademark applications, and Twitter did just that with Twitpic’s application. “Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we do not give up our mark,” Everett said at the time. Perhaps the most important for both sites was Jānis Krūms’ picture of the crashed US Airways Flight 1549, which made an emergency landing in the Hudson river in 2009 after a bird strike took out both engines. Twitpic was one of the early sites built on Twitter’s API, offering users a way to share photo on the social media service, something that Twitter itself started offering in 2011.

Five years on, many peg the “Miracle on the Hudson” as the moment Twitter proved its worth as a news-gathering service, with pictures like Krūms’ and on-the-ground testimonials spreading the story far and wide long before the traditional media had arrived on the scene. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader. That lead to speculation that the squabble over the name was a convenient smokescreen for a company struggling to stay afloat after Twitter destroyed its business model by offering photo-sharing built in to the service. Yfrog pivoted to become a full-blown photo sharing network, while Instagram fought Twitter on its own terms, growing to rival Twitter in size – before being bought by Facebook for $1bn in 2012.

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