There are lots of ways to share pictures on Twitter, but one of the oldest is about to shutdown and take everything users posted to it with them into the ether. Twitpic has been in a legal battle with Twitter over the trademark on their name, and it’s a battle they can’t afford.
The photo-sharing company attempted to find a buyer, one with deeper pockets to be able to afford the legal fight, but a deal failed to materialize.
Twitpic founder Noah Everett announced the company was shutting down, and taking all posted pictures with it.
It’s with a heavy heart that I announce again that Twitpic will be shutting down on October 25th. We 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. Normally we wouldn’t announce something like that prematurely but we were hoping to let our users know as soon as possible that Twitpic was living on.
I’m sincerely sorry (and embarrassed) for the circumstances leading up to this, from our initial shutdown announcement to an acquisition false alarm.
Earlier, Everett explained why this shutdown was happening:
A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. 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.
We originally filed for our trademark in 2009 and our first use in commerce dates back to February 2008 when we launched. We encountered several hurdles and difficulties in getting our trademark approved even though our first use in commerce predated other applications, but we worked through each challenge and in fact had just recently finished the last one. During the “published for opposition” phase of the trademark is when Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.
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.
Baring a dramatic change of heart on behalf of Twitter, or an 11th hour deal, the estimated 800 million photos users have posted to Twitpic will be permanently deleted on Oct. 25.
If you have posted photos to Twitpic you have until the Oct. 25 to download them to your computer before they disappear. The service is slow, and often unavailable, presumably because of heavy usage.