Twitpic archive at Twitter

The story of Twitpic shutting down has a better ending now:

“We weren’t able to find a way to keep Twitpic independent. However, I’m happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being.”

This is much better than all those photos becoming broken links, but it’s still a sad statement on the Twitter ecosystem. Twitter threatened Twitpic, then Twitpic decided to shutdown, and in the end Twitter gets all the Twitpic assets anyway for cheap or no money at all. It’s a bizarre end to what only a couple years ago was a $3 million business.

Twitter is a big company with a lot of moving pieces. It shouldn’t surprise me that one half of Twitter is ready to sic the lawyers on Twitpic while another half wants to do the right thing for Twitpic’s customer base. Still, a bittersweet closing chapter on one of the first great third-party developers.