Twitter is getting its own photo-sharing service, CEO Dick Costolo announced at the D9 conference today. It will roll out over the next few weeks to all users.
"We need to remove the friction from adding photos to Twitter," Costolo said.
In addition to making photo uploading easier for all users, this move is intended to harmonize content ownership: "Users will own their photos," he said, which may not be the case on other sharing services. Photobucket will host the photos on the back end, but Twitter will own the user interface and provide it to users through its site and apps.
Twitter photos won't compete with Facebook albums, Costolo said. "It's organized around conversations," he said -- what's happening now.
Videos are still hosted by third parties.
Improvements are also coming to Twitters' search engine: Results will become relevant and personalized, so different users may get different results depending on who's in their network. The search engine will also show photos and videos in the results page.
Twitter was originally a text-only messaging service, but that didn't stop users from sharing photos through new services like yFrog, Twitpic, and Instagram. The future of these services is now in doubt. To ensure a more consistent user experience (and control the revenue stream), Twitter is also putting the boot down on third-party clients for the service. It acquired Tweetie and re-released it as the official Twitter client on OS X. More recently, Twitter announced that it had acquired TweetDeck. … Read more