Twitter's Making Twitpic Shut Down

Twitpic, the photo-sharing service, is shutting down rather than fighting against Twitter's recent demands.

Founder Noah Everett explained Twitpic's unexpected demise:

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.

If you use Twitpic, Everett said you should be able to export your old photos and videos before it shuts down. Some users are already reporting that their Twitpic links are broken, however, so that may not be an option. And whether or not you manage to export your stuff, this shut down is going to cause a big uptick in broken image links.

Twitter has tightened up on third-party API services before, so this isn't totally shocking. But Twitpic has been around forever (at least in Internet years) and this is going to piss off a lot of heavy Twitter users. Maybe it's a play for a last-minute buyout from Twitter on Twitpic's part, but a backlash is almost guaranteed, whether this is brinksmanship or just a bummer.

A Twitter spokesperson emphasized the move was all about brand protection. "We're sad to see Twitpic is shutting down," they told us. "We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand."

Get your "RIP TwitPic" tweets scheduled for September 25... unless you're boycotting Twitter in protest.