Twitpic acquired by mystery buyer, will stay in business

Just a week before its planned closure after a trademark battle with Twitter, the image-sharing service has been saved. But it's not sharing the details yet.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

Twitpic says it has been acquired but doesn't say by whom. CNET

Twitpic, the service for sharing images on Twitter that announced its closure earlier this month, has been acquired and says it will stay in business.

The development was revealed Thursday afternoon in a message posted to Twitpic's Twitter account. The message did not identify the buyer but promised more details would be forthcoming.

"We're happy to announce we've been acquired and Twitpic will live on!" Twitpic wrote. "We will post more details as we can disclose them."

Twitpic could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

Thursday's announcement was the first on Twitpic's Twitter account since Sept. 4, when the startup announced it would shut down at the end of the month due to a trademark battle with Twitter. Twitpic founder Noah Everett in a company blog post called the decision "unexpected and hard," but said that Twitter threatened to cut off Twitpic's access to its application programming interface -- the tools that allow developers to tap into Twitter's platform -- if the 6-year-old startup did not abandon its trademark.

Noting that protecting the company's trademark is a concern, a Twitter representative said at the time that it was "sad to see Twitpic is shutting down."

Launched in 2008, Twitpic was perhaps the best-established third-party image-sharing service for Twitter users, letting them link to photos in tweets. It was a source of citizen journalism as tweeters spotted newsworthy events -- such as the Hudson River plane crash -- captured the action on their phone, uploaded images to Twitpic and shared the link on Twitter.