Twitter CEO Dick Costolo confirmed recent rumors that the website will be launching its own photo-sharing service. This announcement was first made at D9, an annual media and technology conference by All Things Digital. The photo-sharing capability will first be made available on twitter.com. The roll out to all of Twitter’s user base will take place over the next few weeks.
Uploading and sharing will be a very simple process. When you upload a photo to Twitter, the website automatically attaches to a tweet. If the user clicks it, the image will appear in the right pane. Eventually, Twitter plans on bringing the photo-sharing functionality to the official mobile apps.
For users without smartphones, we’re working with mobile carriers around the world so you can also send photos via text message (MMS). Share what’s happening in your world, anywhere you are.
The company is also going one step ahead with the service by launching a revamped search experience. Soon, when a user performs a search, the right pane will display relevant photos and videos. All photos and videos shown in search will remain completely attached to the original tweet.
It will be interesting to see what the competition has to say about this. The most popular way to share photos on Twitter up until now has been via TwitPic, although YFrog, Instagram, and many other services play a large role as well. Native photo-sharing has the potential to seriously hurt these businesses. When asked about this at D9, Dick Costolo simply responded “We encourage services to move up the value chain.” It appears that they are going to have to do just that to stay relevant. Costolo was also asked about whether this new feature takes direct aim at Facebook, to which he responded no.
Twitter posted a brief video showing off the new photo-sharing capability that I’ve embedded below.
Twitter also recently acquired TweetDeck, a renowned client for power users. It originally became popular for having a large number of features that twitter.com never offered. Perhaps Twitter is looking to improve the experience on the main site with the acquisition. It seems like with official apps on nearly every smart phone platform and now native photo-sharing, Twitter is thinking less and less about third-party services that have contributed greatly to its growth.
Links: Twitter Blog