The Pros and Cons of Twitter's Foray Into Photo-Sharing

Tech bloggers weigh the benefits of Twitter's expected announcement this week

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Twitter will announce a new photo-sharing service this week at the D9 conference in California, report TechCrunch and All Things D. The news was met with broad support in the tech press, and a shred of skepticism over whether the company should acquire a current photo-sharing service, such as Yfrog or Twitpic, instead of building one in-house. There were also concerns about the move alienating Twitter's third-party developers. Here's what's buzzing on the tech blogs this morning.

It will create an easier user experience  "Twitter users like to type status updates, but they also like to share photos,"writes E.B. Boyd at Fast Company. "If it's too hard for many of them to figure out how to use a Twitpic or yfrog--or even to realize that they exist--then it makes perfect sense for Twitter to do what it needs to do to improve that experience. And that just might mean bringing those features in-house."

It will be a moneymaker  The Guardian's Charles Arthur predicts that the service "will be monetised by including advertisements as Twitter tries to move to a more commercial model." Liz Gannes at All Things D adds that "companies like Twitpic and ImageShack, which operates Yfrog, bring in millions of dollars of revenue by selling advertising on the image pages that are distributed widely by those tweeted links."

It's about learning from Facebook's success  "Facebook, of course, has a long and illustrious history of success with photo sharing and archiving," notes Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web. One concern Kirkpatrick has is whether Twitter's "public, wide open" format will discourage some from sharing photos as freely as on Facebook.

Why don't they make an acquisition?  Mark Evans at Twitterati has his doubts about the deal."TwitPic, YFrog... would be terrific acquisition targets," he writes. "Maybe Twitter doesn’t want to spend any more of its venture capital booty until it comes up with a viable way to generate revenue. But it does seem strange to build vs. buy in this situation."

It may alienate developers  "The move will be seen as further encroachment by Twitter on areas formerly seeded and exploited by third-party developers," writes Charles Arthur at The Guardian. "Earlier this year, the company told developers to stop making their own desktop and mobile clients for displaying Twitter timelines--dismaying many who had created a competitive development environment while leveraging the Twitter API that hooked directly into its database." Given Twitter's acquisition of TweetDeck last week, Arthur says developers "may begin to question what areas Twitter does not want to control."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.