Twitter announced on its blog late Monday that users who want to submit pictures to the social network from their mobile phones can now do so through MMS. There's just one catch: it's only available to Orange UK subscribers.
According to Twitter, Orange UK users can send picture messages to Twitter's "86444" number. They need only to snap a picture, choose "Send via MMS", and input the number. Once the message is sent, the user will receive a text message asking for their Twitter credentials. Luckily, that message is only sent once. All subsequent uploads will not require credentialing. After they're input, a Snapshot link to the picture is sent to the user's Twitter profile to let followers click on and view the image.
As with Twitter's SMS service, which has been around since the beginning, the social network won't charge any fees to use its MMS service. That said, standard text-messaging rates will still apply.
But there's another consideration that we can't forget about. Companies like TwitPic and Yfrog have made a business out of making it easy for users to submit pictures to Twitter. If the company's MMS offering comes to both the U.S. and other carriers in the U.K., it could spell trouble for those picture-uploading sites. Assuming carrier-supported picture uploading is made available to more users (which, at this point, could be a tall order, since it requires carrier approval), that function could significantly cut into their use.
Until then, they probably have little to worry about--there's no indication that this service will be rolled out to a mass market anytime soon. We can hope, though.