Twitter's in-house photo service overtakes Twitpic, yfrog, Instagram

Summary:Twitter's in-house photo upload service has overtaken all third-party clients, like Twitpic, yfrog and Instagram, leaving these clients fighting an uphill battle with the social network.

Just as when Twitter started rolling out its t.co web address shortener, many third-party developers were concerned that it could be the death of the URL shortening business.

Most widely used service bit.ly suffered, but nevertheless remains as one of the top third-party developers the site offers.

But Twitter's new photo sharing service, powered by Photobucket, has had an adverse affect on the wider third-party developer community, by ranking as the number one means of uploading photos to the social network.

(Image source: Skylines)

Just three months after Twitter integrated Photobucket functionality as part of its wider efforts to 'patch' the hole created by developers, by bridging the gap of what Twitter users wanted versus the lacking features that were available, Twitter's own service has now overtaken all third-party services, including Twitpic, yfrog and Instagram.

Research by Skylines suggest that while mobile devices, from BlackBerry, Android and iPhone combined, make up collectively the most popular way of uploading photos to Twitter, the single most sourced images now come directly from Twitter's own service.

Biggest challenger Twitpic now has just 30.6 percent fo the market, having only six months ago accounting for around 45 percent of all uploaded images. Twitpic said earlier this year, shortly after the announcement, that the company was "blind-sighted" by the news, and confused as to why some ecosystem players were asked about the upcoming in-house product, and not the majority image uploader.

But Skylines' research shows that users are not ready yet to switch over to the new in-house service completely, as users still remain loyal to the image uploading tools they use. Many after all will not want to abandon their Twitter 'gallery' of images that these tools offer.

Arguably, because Twitter's official web client automatically switched people over to it, it could be seen as an anti-competitive move.

Twitter has been criticised by third-party developers for instigating changes that directly affect its developer partners, damaging relations between application and service builders and the social media giant.

Third-party developers for iPhone and BlackBerry in particular were annoyed earlier this year by Facebook's decision to integrate the instant-messaging site capability into its mobile products, effectively killing off a lucrative segment of the market -- by developing applications that fill the void for where the companies have failed to integrate the features themselves.

Related:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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