Twitter won’t buy or build its own photo-sharing service until between 9 to 12 months from now, says ImageShack CEO Jack Levin, whose company runs such a service, called Yfrog.”I talked to the Twitter guys many, many times. I know [Twitter CEO] Evan Williams from Google,” says Jack.
“Basically they want to maintain the status quo.”
“They do not want to develop their own infrastructure to run media. In 9 months to a year, I could see Twitter making an acquisition of some sort.”
We asked Jack because back in early April, Twitter’s top investor, Fred Wilson, wrote a blog post warning that Twitter will probably some day build or buy its own “photo sharing services.”
Fred wrote that “Twitter really should have had all of that when it launched or it should have built those services right into the Twitter experience.”
Of course, if Twitter does decide to buy it’s own photo-up loader, there’s a chance Twitter might decide to buy Yfrog or Image Shack (or buy Yfrog from Image Shack – Jack says he’s “flexible.”)
Though TwitPic remains the most popular Twitter photo-uploader, Yfrog may have the inside track on such a deal. First, Jack knows Evan from their Google days together. Second, Twitter already has a deal with Yfrog.
Yfrog is the default photo-uploader in Twitter For iPhone – though it came together when the app was still called Tweetie and was the product of an independent company called Atebits.
Still, the deal has been a success for both companies so far. Jack tells us that the night Twitter turned Tweetie into “Twitter For iPhone” and re-launched it Apple’s App Store, uploads to Yfrog doubled their usual rate.
We reached out to Twitter, but didn’t hear back before we were ready to press publish. (Not that we expect Twitter to comment anyway.)
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