In the early days of Twitter it didn’t have native image hosting, and third party like Twitpic had control over most multimedia. Now fast forward to 2014 where Twitter has native image hosting and has restricted its API to many third party services that it now also has an option for. On Thursday, Twitpic announced that it would be shutting down later this month. The reason they cited was a legal dispute with Twitter.
“A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API,” Noah Everett, Twitpic’s founder, wrote in a blog post announcing the shut down. “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.”
Since its launch in 2008 Twitter hasn’t had any legal disputes with the company until a few weeks ago. However the relationship between the companies have been strained since 2011 when Twitter released its own photo-sharing service.
“We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down,” the rep said in a statement. “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.”
Everett had a slightly different take on the situation after being shown Twitter’s statement.
“Basically Twitter gave us an ultimatum, give up your mark or risk losing your API access which is Twitpic’s life blood,” he said by email. “We could not in good conscious just give up our rightful ownership to the Twitpic mark when forced to do so even though we don’t have the funds to fight it.”
Twitpic may have taken extreme stance to make Twitter look bad in the whole situation. We may not know what really happened between the two but we could see a return of Twitpic if more legal help or money is given to aid them in a fight against Twitter.
Tell us in the comments below what you think about Twitpic shutting down because of Twitter forcing there hand with their API.