Less than a week after it rolled out its official image sharing service to all users, Twitter has opened up its media uploader API to developers. And many are speculating that this is the biggest nail in the coffin of current Twitter image uploader services Twitpic and Yfrog yet.
Last week, Twitter announced that all users had access to its image uploading service, Twitter Images. Users could attach a picture to a tweet using a single button beneath the “What’s Happening” window, and the image (hosted on Photobucket) would be instantly synched with their tweet. This seriously undermines the usefulness of third-party photo uploader services like TwitPic, as the official Twitter version is easier to use, doesn’t require a click away from Twitter.com, and will likely have all of the features of its competitors, if not more, in the future.
And Twitter is clearly very serious about owning the photo uploader space. According to VentureBeat, Twitter has opened up its media uploader API to all developers. Which means that anyone creating a third-party app for Twitter which uses pictures now has the option to use TwitPic or the official Twitter photo uploader. And it’s not hard to see which one they’ll choose.
By using Twitter’s official media uploader API, developers will have more assurance that their apps will be around for the long-haul. As it stands, it’s unclear whether TwitPic or Yfrog will be around for much longer, as there is little incentive for users to choose them over Twitter’s own uploader.
VentureBeat also speculates that the media uploader API will eventually be used for uploading video to Twitter as well, which is another reason why developers would likely choose it over a third-party competitor.
This squeezing out of third-party apps is nothing new for Twitter. The company has been criticized about killing off its developer community in bits and pieces, as it encourages development and then changes the rules of the game mid-way through.