updated 02:25 pm EDT, Wed June 1, 2011
Twitter starts up photo service and searches
Confirming earlier rumors in the week, Twitter on Wednesday started up its own photo service. The option, rolling out over the next few weeks, will give those both on the web and at least official mobile apps an integrated way to post photos. The service will even extend to non-smartphones as it should support using MMS once carriers are onboard.
A corresponding search service is also going up immediately and will show related photos based on hashtags or a given Twitter update. A new browser variant,Firefox with Twitter, will let users search for any Twitter content in the address bar by its hashtag or a username.
In a chat at D9, Twitter chief Dick Costolo added that the photo service will be different from hosting services like yFrog in that photos will be truly connected to Twitter updates through metadata. Users will also have genuine ownership of their photos to prevent them being reused, evading a dispute that affected TwitPic users earlier.
He warned that Twitter wouldn't have a complete archival of photos. Photobucket is expected to have the images, though, and could theoretically make older photos available.
The confirmation helps support rumors of a full tie-in with iOS 5. Twitter would at the least need its own photo sharing option to let iPad, iPhone, and iPod owners upload photos directly to the microblogging site. Extra clues, though, have suggested that Twitter may have deep access across much of iOS and could be linked to more than just photos.