Twitter to Launch Photo-Sharing Service, Reports Say

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Twitter is set to launch its own photo-sharing service this week, according to reports. Twitter has been slowly invading the territory of third-party developers who built on their platform, and the release of its own image-sharing service will endanger popular services such as Twitpic and Yfrog.

Twitter is expected to announce the photo-sharing service at the D9 conference in California, when the company's chief executive, Dick Costolo, is scheduled to speak Wednesday. TechCrunch was the first to report on Twitter's rumored plans and All Things D confirmed the expected announcement separately.

Details on how Twitter's own photo-sharing service will work are scarce. Current third-party Twitter photo-sharing services allow users to post a link to a photo, which takes you to sites like Twitpic or Yfrog, where you can view the image. Such services make money (millions) by displaying advertisements along with the images shared.

Twitter's photo-sharing service is expected to work in a similar fashion and could use the domain, which the company has owned since 2010. One advantage to Twitter using an in-house photo-sharing service could be better integration of photo messages in time lines, which is trending lately toward inline attachments, rather than going off site to view photos.

A photo sharing service from Twitter would mean the social network is continuing to step on the toes of third-party services that helped make the Twitter platform popular in the first place. Twitter has already squeezed out smaller URL shortening sites after it introduced its own shortening service in 2010. This year the company warned developers not to build any more Twitter clients and purchased the popular client TweetDeck in order to consolidate market share of its own official clients.

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