On Twitter Launching Its Own Photo Sharing Service

Alexia Tsotsis writing for Techcrunch:

According to multiple sources, Twitter is on the verge of announcing its own built in Twitpic competitor. Like tomorrow, if things go according to plan (naturally this post might change that).

This doesn’t come at all as a surprise to me, and I doubt it will to many others. I’ve been clamouring for Twitter to take ownership of this space for a while, and it’s a smart move for them to offer their own image hosting service. By offering their own image hosting service, they can integrate it fully into their own service as they see fit. Offering what hopefully will be the best possible user experience and design.

Someone of course had this to say in the comments:

What are the actual sources on this? Sounds like you completely made it up. Photo sharing is Twitter’s largest 3rd party ecosystem, and I think they’re smart enough not to throw that out the window. it would be the straw the breaks the developer’s back.

To which I responded with:

Smart enough to “not to throw that out the window”? You’re kidding right? Smart enough to put the kibosh on third party Twitter clients? Smart enough to not give short notice on the oAuth change for third parties? Smart enough to not buy up a bunch of popular Twitter clients and roll them into their own service? Ya… sure…

With announcements recently like TwitPic changing its terms of service, which effectively states that they can sell your images to third parties as they see fit, it’s no wonder why some are hesitant to use the service. Of course for the majority of people uploading images to Twitpic — et al — probably don’t know or possibly care all that much about this. The majority of images that are getting uploaded to these third party services are probably throw away images — photos and screenshots taken on a lark.

Here’s a lovely nugget from TwitPic’s terms of service:

By uploading content to Twitpic you give Twitpic permission to use or distribute your content on Twitpic.com or affiliated sites.

And this:

By submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

One would hope that by Twitter taking ownership of the image hosting market that they will learn from the mistakes of others and provide clear and understandable terms and conditions. Not lawyer double speak, but something the average person will comprehend.

The direction I have taken myself is to simply host my own images directly in a public Dropbox folder, which I then link to on Twitter. On my iPhone, I have Dropbox on my homescreen for quick access. After snapping a photo, I upload the image via the Dropbox app and immediately grab the short URL, which I can then paste into my Twitter client of choice.

If you have images hosted on Twitpic, I’d delete them and de-authorize the service from your Twitter account today.

(Via Techcrunch)