Twitter-based photo-sharing service Twitpic will now officially close on 25 October, giving users nine days to export their images before they disappear into oblivion.
The story of Twitpic’s demise has been a series of ups and downs, and it has ended on a low note.
The service began in 2008 offering users the ability to share photos on Twitter by uploading to Twitpic and then sharing its URLs. When Twitter introduced native photo-sharing in mid-2011, it was thought to be the end of Twitpic but the service somehow endured without changing tack.
More trouble was to come this year as Twitter threatened legal action against Twitpic for infringement of its trademark. On 4 September, founder Noah Everett wrote in a blog post that Twitter had demanded Twitpic abandon its trademark application or risk losing access to the Twitter API. The blog post has since been updated to reflect the latest announcement.
Intimidated by a costly legal battle against a powerful foe, Everett decided to give up and shut down Twitpic.
Against all odds, it then looked like Twitpic was saved, with a tweet on 18 September declaring, “We’re happy to announce we’ve been acquired and Twitpic will live on,” with a promise to disclose more details later on.
It was a false alarm. Everett had jumped the gun, the acquisition was not to be and an embarrassed founder has had to re-announce his company’s closure.
Everett said he worked through a handful of potential acquirers and exhausted all potential options. “We were almost certain we had found a new home for Twitpic (hence our previous tweet), but agreeable terms could not be met,” he wrote.
Now – and for real this time – Twitpic will shut down on 25 October. Users can export their last 5,000 photos up that point and, after that, they will vanish forever.
The export tool is reportedly backed up due to demand, so users are advised to check back frequently until the see the export download link on their settings page.
Closed sign image by Pitamaha via Shutterstock