Charleston-based TwitPic ended its trademark dispute with Twitter by striking a deal with the company that seems to have pleased all parties. Rumors of TwitPic’s shutdown began in early September, and took several twists, before the company announced the Twitter deal.
TwitPic, founded by Noah Everett, launched in 2008. It served as a third-party platform that allowed users to upload photos to their tweets. The website was widely used by citizen journalists to upload and distribute pictures in near real-time as an event is taking place. Perhaps the most famous photo was taken in 2009 when the now iconic shot “Miracle on the Hudson” photo was uploaded.
The deal came after TwitPic started announcing in September that it would be shutting down—a tweet on September 4 read “Twitpic is shutting down, read our blog for more info,” and Everett posted on his blog that TwitPic would go dark on September 25. That announcement caused a scurry from the Archive Team to start backing up the site, but TwitPic later blocked that process and announced it “had a plan.”
In a tweet that offered no concrete details, TwitPic announced it had been acquired but that deal ended up falling through, and the company again announced on October 16 it would still shut down. Just nine days later, however, on October 25, TwitPic announced that it had reached an agreement with Twitter.
What this new deal means for TwitPic’s users is that they will no longer receive support for their iOS and Android apps. Although users can no longer upload new data or photos, they will be able login to their profiles and delete or download their content. The site will remain active in a read-only mode, however the ultimate future of what Twitter will do with it—or if the Archive Team will be able to save the data—is unknown.
Although TwitPic may fade into the Internet’s history of websites and apps that once served an indispensable service, Noah Everett certainly will not. He and his team of programmers have worked at their East Bay Street office this past year to create Pingly—what they hope will be a better email service than what currently exists. The self-funded service is meant to optimize the best parts of traditional email while eliminating its hassles. Pingly, which Everett says will directly compete with Gmail, is set to launch its beta version within the month.