The feature, which made its debut in early June, allows users to add images to their tweets. Users will now find a camera icon on the bottom of the “What’s Happening?” box on Twitter.com. Clicking it will let users select a picture to upload, which they can then preview before sending it to the world. Tweets containing photos include a link to pic.twitter.com, along with a thumbnail of the attached picture.
The feature is being rolled out in advance of the launch of Apple iOS 5. Apple’s new mobile OS prominently features Twitter integration, essentially making it the default social network for iOS users. Users will be able to share photos via Twitter in iOS 5. Twitter isn’t saying when mobile photo uploads will be available in its Android and iOS apps, but we suspect that functionality will be coming very soon.
Twitter’s photo-sharing service is powered by Photobucket, which provides all of the hosting for user-uploaded photos.
Twitter’s photo service essentially negates the usefulness of photo-sharing services like TwitPic. Twitter has come under criticism for competing with third-party services built on its platform. Developers don’t know whether Twitter will suddenly start competing with their products, an issue that has created a cloud of uncertainty over the Twitter ecosystem.