Twitter's own image sharing service was initially announced back in June -- much to the dismay of third party developers -- but was finally rolled-out to all users this week.
Here's how it works: Click the compose tweet button and you’ll see a small camera icon below the text field and next to the location icon. Click the camera to upload your image, then compose and send your tweet:
Uploaded images will appear as shortened links that begin with “pics.twitter.com.” As with outside video and photo links, the images will appear as thumbnails in the right-hand sidebar when the tweet they accompany is clicked. Alternatively, a user may click the link itself for a new Twitter-branded tab with both the picture and the tweet for context.
Catch You Later, Developer Types
The announcement of the Photobucket-powered feature was a rude awakening for several developers. Many were surprised that Twitpic in particular was not consulted first — including Twitpic founder Noah Everett.
“We never heard from Twitter that they were building a photo feature,” Everett told TechCrunch. “We understand that Twitter owns and controls the platform, but a clearer roadmap from them and better communication would have been appreciated by us and all the developers. We’ve always had Twitter’s best interest in mind with building and running Twitpic, we would have hoped the same from Twitter, at least in the form of better communication.”
A similar-ish reaction was seen from several consumers when Twitter purchased AdGrok, a platform designed to help businesses manage their Google Adwords. Adgrok's servers went kaput and its customers were kicked to the curb.
"Every time one of these startups leaves their customers hanging like this, it makes those customers less likely to trust the next startup that comes around. If you're shutting down, at least have some other reason than you think it is somehow a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be employed by Twitter," said one commenter on AdGrok's official closing statement.
Uncertainty in the third-party ecosystem aside, the in-house photo sharing service is nifty for users. Try it out (now that you officially can) and let us know what you think.