In a move that will further irk an already uncomfortable and increasingly disillusioned developer community, Twitter appears poised to remove all third party image uploading services from its official apps on the iPhone, iPad, Android and other platforms, says Buzzfeed, citing “a person who was briefed on the company’s plans”.
(Why is it always him?)
Currently, there are six alternatives to Twitter’s internal photo sharer on the iPhone app – yFrog, Twitpic, Mobypicture, Twitgoo, img.ly and Posterous – but come the next update there may be just one.
(Posterous, of course, was acquired by Twitter back in March and at the time of writing it is unknown if it will remain on the official apps list. It would seem strange to give any alternative to Twitter, though, if the company is removing everybody else.)
Last month, Twitter outlined its vision for the use of its API, and over the last year has been fairly aggressive in its acquisition of competitors and third party functionality. However you feel about these steps there’s at least some comfort in Twitter’s consistency, although that will be of little consolation to developers, who can only watch from the sidelines as the company continues its journey from a simple message-sharing service to a full-featured, media powerhouse. And its one where Twitter, and their ad-serving platform, calls all the shots.
Twitpic founder Noah Everett, who lost out probably more than anybody when Twitter launched their internal photo sharer, says that he’s not surprised at this move.
“They’re trying to control those eyeballs on their apps, they’re an ad-based company, they make money that way,” said Everett to Buzzfeed, adding that, while this news was something that “we thought was coming”, Twitter’s decision, if true, “might be a big death blow to smaller companies.”