Report: Twitter Launching Photo-Sharing Service This Week
For all the tens of millions of Tweets sent daily and for all the importance of photos to the contemporary social media experience, Twitter has to this point left the work of photo-sharing to services like TwitPic and yfrog.
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 at this week’s D9 conference. Though this may be a shrewd move for Twitter to grab advertising dollars and strategic turf, if true, it’s not likely to do much to heal already-tense relations between Twitter and third-party developers, who must ever be wary that Twitter will make their painstakingly built products redundant.
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone, as photosharing is the next logical step of Twitter expanding its in app experience. It’s basically grabbing at low hanging fruit.
Twitter is flinging money around; It just spent $40 million on power user client Tweetdeck which represents 13% of its userbase. It’s only natural that they would spend more resources on photosharing, 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.
Obviously, the Twitpics and Yfrogs of the world would not be very happy about this, but how would consumers react? One likely sticking point: Photo rights. Twitpic alienated a broad swath of its users earlier this month with a terms of service change that some perceived as a rights grab, saying that Twitpic, not the users, owned photos uploaded to Twitpic. (Twitpic disputed this interpretation, but the damage was done.) A clear statement by Twitter that users own their own photos could go a long way.