Photo-sharing service Twitpic has announced it must shut down due to trademark issues with Twitter.
In a blog post published on 4 September, Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic, revealed his company will cease operations on 25 September. He said Twitter contacted Twitpic’s legal team recently and demanded the company abandon its trademark application. If it didn't, Twitpic could lose access to Twitter’s API, a necessary code that lets Twitpic users share photos via Twitter.
Twitpic is a six-year-old service that became very popular because it allowed people to share photos over Twitter. Twitter did not offer such a capability in its early days, though it has since launched a feature that lets users embed photos in their tweets. The writing has therefore long been on the wall for Twitpic, especially since Twitter has slowly restricted full access to its API in recent years.
Twitpic however is putting all the blame on Twitter and its trademark dispute: “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," Everett wrote. "Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic."
A Twitter spokesperson has since released a statement, claiming Twitter is sad to see Twitpic shut down, but it also emphasised: “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.”
Twitpic said existing users will be able to export all their photos and videos using a feature that will go live in the next few days.