Twitpic, which allows users to post images to Twitter, announced Saturday that the micro-blogging website has agreed to acquire its domain and photo archive, saving millions of images that were set to disappear when the service was scheduled to shut down later that day. The deal allows users to continue accessing their photos on Twitpic, but it is not clear for how long they can continue to use their accounts.

Noah Everett, Twitpic’s founder, wrote in a blog post that the acquisition by Twitter will “keep the photos and links alive for the time being.” According to him, Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, so all the relevant user data should remain with the San Francisco-based social networking site.

“We weren’t able to find a way to keep Twitpic independent,” Everett wrote. “However, I’m happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive.”

In September, Twitpic had announced that it would shut down its service because of a trademark infringement lawsuit by Twitter. The social networking site demanded that Twitpic must cancel its trademark application or it would lose access to Twitter’s application programming interface, or API, which is necessary for Twitpic to remain functioning.

“Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic,” Everett wrote in a blog post at the time.

Two weeks later, Twitpic said that it had been saved, thanks to an acquisition by an anonymous owner, only to announce a month later that the deal fell though. Twitpic also instructed its users how to export their data before the site went down.

Now, with the latest development in the up-and-down story of Twitpic's future, Twitter’s acquisition of the website has brought in a new set of directions for users.

  • Users will not be able to add new photos or data as the Twitpic website will be in read-only mode
  • The iOS and Android versions of the Twitpic app have been removed from app stores and will no longer be supported
  • Users can still log in to their profile to delete content or delete the Twitpic account itself
  • Users can continue to export and download data or photos from the archive on Twitpic’s website

“Twitter shares our goal of protecting our users and this data. Also, since Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, it makes sense to keep this data with Twitter,” Everett wrote. “This will be my (@noaheverett) final chapter with Twitpic.”