Founder shutting down Twitpic

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 4, 2014

Charleston-based Twitpic will shut down its server Sept. 25 after Twitter asked the photo sharing service to abandon its trademark application, according to a blog post by founder Noah Everett.

“A few weeks ago, Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API (application programming interface),” Everett wrote. “This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008 and our trademark application has been in the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) since 2009.”

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Twitpic is a photo-sharing application that allows users to upload photos to their Twitter accounts. Everett created it before Twitter launched its own photo-sharing service three years ago. Everett said in November 2009 that a company had offered him $10 million for the company.

Everett said TwitPic, which has 44 million users, does not have the resources “to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark, which we believe wholeheartedly is rightfully ours” and will therefore close down operations.

An unnamed Twitter representative responded to requests for comment with an emailed statement:

“We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down. We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand.”

Everett launched Twitpic in 2008 and relocated from Oklahoma to Charleston, where he grew the company. In 2010, TwitPic hit 10 million users. Everett said this is “an unexpected and hard announcement” to make.

“On a personal note, I (@noaheverett) want to thank you for letting us be a part of your life and helping you share your experiences over the past 6 years, it’s truly been an honor,” Everett wrote in the blog post.

In the next few days, Twitpic will go live with a feature to allow users to export all photos and videos.

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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