Social Media

Twitter’s removing third-party image services from its official apps

Twitter’s removing third-party image services from its official apps'

With all of Twitter’s rules, display guidelines and API changes over the last few months, it’s quite clear that Twitter now wants to be in complete control of its service. So much so that it is removing third-party image services like TwitPic and yFrog from its official apps.

In August Twitter published upcoming changes to its API, the method by which third-party clients “plugin” or communicate with Twitter. The new API version, version 1.1, reduced rate limits for third-party clients and placed limits on the number of users client applications could support – which can only result in the eventually smothering of these clients over time.

Today’s news, which hasn’t yet been confirmed by Twitter, is just another step in Twitter’s grasp for control. The official Twitter apps currently allow images attached to tweets to be uploaded to six different third-party image services; yFrog, TwitPic, Mobypicture, Twitgoo, Posterous (which Twitter owns) and

The option to upload images to these services will likely be removed in a forthcoming update, forcing direct image uploads on Twitter’s apps to use its own image service – first introduced in June 2011.

The largest of the six third-party image services currently supported by Twitter is TwitPic. Its founder Noah Everett understands Twitter’s reasoning but wishes it were different,

“They’re trying to control those eyeballs on their apps, they’re an ad-based company, they make money that way.”

Since only 23% of tweets originate from third-party clients, the user base for these image services will be severely limited overnight.

Twitter’s official apps also include video service options yFrog, TwitVid, Mobypicture, Posterous, and Vodpod, but since there’s no official solution provided by Twitter regarding video, these should be safe for now.

View Comments (7)


  1. miralize

    September 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    @darrenmccarra It’s *still* happening. Not surprised, Twitter is going to be a closed network, whether the users want it to be or not.

    • darrenmccarra

      September 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      @miralize It’s getting rid of all the external features and community influence that made Twitter so great

  2. sherylshusband

    September 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    @patphelan eventually Twitter will block Twitter as it slowly shuts the ecosystem down to being utterly useless. Downhill slide

  3. darrenmccarra

    September 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    @patphelan Odd move. It already displays media from all these services on or in its apps without diverting traffic away

  4. webtwozero

    September 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    @patphelan Twitter is starting to tighten the chains. Very silly move I think.

  5. leebenecke

    September 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    @OnlineFantastic @2cre8 @patphelan @thesociable @planetshark I see why tw are making these moves but cutting Instagram would be a bad idea



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Social Media'

Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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