June 01, 2011

Twitter to Launch Its Own Photo-Sharing Service

From TwitPic to Lockerz to yFrog and Twitgoo, there are a host of options when it comes to sharing your captured moments on Twitter. The microblogging site – that one responsible for having all of us thinking in 140 characters or less - never bothered with its own photo-sharing service. At least until today.

According to reports from TechCrunch and AllThingsD, this will change as soon as this week, with a rumored announcement of an in-house photo-sharing service by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (News - Alert) at this week’s D9 conference.

“Twitter is flinging money around; it just spent $40 million on power user client Tweetdeck which represents 13 percent of its userbase. It’s only natural that they would spend more resources on photo sharing, especially considering how much money is being poured into the white hot space and that images were the crux of the success of competitor Facebook (News - Alert).,” says TechCrunch.

It will likely work much like the current services out there by hosting photos taken with your mobile device and linking to them with a shortened URL.

Twitter could use the Twimg.com domain for the new service. The new image hosting service could be a new avenue for revenue to flow in to Twitter's balance sheets.

Since a built in service will have an advantage over third party applications, existing photo sharing websites that thrive on traffic directed via Twitter may find it difficult to survive in the new scheme of things.

TechCrunch in March quoted Twitter Platform lead Ryan Sarver as stating: "Developers have told us that they'd like more guidance from us about the best opportunities to build on Twitter. More specifically, developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no."

In September, Twitter had launched its own URL shortening service, t.co, bringing competition existing players such as bit.ly and tinyurl.com.

Twitter has been treading on the path it had left open for third-party developers ever since it unveiled a new design for its Web interface. The company is also discouraging developers from building their own clients to mimic Twitter timelines.

TweetDeck was one of the major third-party clients which were ultimately swallowed by Twitter. With photo sharing plans, developers now have to look to other areas for developing apps for Twitter ecosystem. TechCrunch highlighted areas like publisher tools, curation, real-time data signals, CRM and value-added content which developers can target.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.