It was announced on 4th September that the once popular TwitPic service is to close permanently. Still ranked in the top three thousand most visited sites in the world TwitPic says this is due to a trademark dispute with Twitter. We explore the ramifications in this article.
What is TwitPic?
TwitPic is an image hosting website which can be used independently of Twitter. It was very popular in the early days of Twitter as it contained functionality not originally in Twitter which has now been added in. The extra functionality in Twitter has reduced the functionality of TwitPic over time.
On 4th September TwitPic announced:
“A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. This came as a shock to us since TwitPic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the USPTO since 2009.”
“Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down TwitPic.”
A screenshot of the TwitPic image sharing service
Why did people use TwitPic?
TwitPic was used by hundreds of thousands of users originally as Twitter didn’t offer this functionality, Twitter has now bridged the gap and this has led to a decline in TwitPic usage.
TwitPic was famed for providing photographs in real-time and as such provide images of news events “as they happened”.
Perhaps the height of TwitPic use came on 19th January when birds hitting the engine of US Airways Flight 1549, caused the plane to land in the Hudson River. New York locals took pictures of the crash scene and uploaded them to Twitter via TwitPic. There were so many people trying to view TwitPic that the servers crashed.
What implications does TwitPic’s Closure have for me?
None really, all of the functionality provided is offered inside Twitter or from alternative external providers. TwitPic is largely a redundant technology following upgrades to Twitter over the past few years.
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