Twitter Announced Launch of Photo-Service

Melanie Gross
Jun 3, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Internet, Twitter

Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, announced to the world yesterday that Twitter was going to be rolling out its very own photo-sharing service over the next few weeks. He made this announcement yesterday, at the D9 conference and it was met with “tweets” throughout the technical world. Costolo says that Twitter photos won’t be competing with Facebook albums because it’s organized around conversations and is relevant in the moment. Videos, however, will still be hosted by third parties.

Twitter was originally a text-only messaging service but this didn’t stop users from utilizing third-party services to share photos. Twitpic, Instagram and yFrog are just a few examples of such services whose future is now uncertain. In an attempt to control the revenue stream and ensure a more streamlined, consistent experience for users, Twitter is also putting the “smack-down” on third-party client for photo-sharing services. The company has already acquired Tweetie and re-released it as the official Twitter client on OS X. Recently, it was announced that Twitter had acquired Tweet Deck.

His goal in acquiring these programs, says Costolo, is to encourage app developers to “move up on the value chain.” Citing an app the Red Cross is utilizing along with the app Klout as examples of his point, he talked about adding value to the Twitter ecosystem.

Costolo is the current CEO of Twitter, following Evan Williams, who stepped down as CEO last year after almost exactly 2 years in that position.
Not only is Twitter launching its own photo-sharing service; it’s also improving the search engine it employs. The goal is to have results become more personalized making search queries come back with different content depending on who the user is and which people are on their personal network. Twitter plans to have videos and photos come back on the results page, as well.

The company behind the scene, so to speak, is Photobucket which delivers the storage and infrastructure to host these photos. The new photo service is currently rolled out, users can expect it to become available in the coming weeks.

Twitter, developed in March of ’06 by Jack Dorsey and launched in July of that year, has gained popularity in leaps and bounds since its launch. In July of 2007 it had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter. In only a year, this number grew to 100 million posts per quarter and now, with an estimated user base of over 200 million people worldwide, users of Twitter purportedly issue around a billion tweets every six days. The company reports 13 billion API requests coming in every single day. Despite being censored in Iran, China, Egypt and South Korea, Twitter continues to see rapid growth and it is generally felt that this is due to the company’s commitment to keeping up with their user base and constantly striving to improve the service and its relevance to the user community.


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