Tech websites are abuzz with talk about Twitter planning to launch its very own photo sharing service. Is Twitter trying to replicate the success of rival Facebook, which gained immense mileage from its photo sharing feature?

According to multiple sources, Twitter is on the verge on announcing its own built in Twitpic competitor, says a Techcrunch report. The report says starting a photo sharing service is only logical step for Twitter as it eyes expanding its in app experience.

If Twitter goes ahead and launches its photo sharing service, it will get into the core of Facebook's advantages, and soon the existing rivalry between 'likes' and 'tweets' can assume another dimension. It remains to be seen when Twitter launches this long overdue service and, whether this will protect the microblogging site against the marauding onslaught of Facebook.

An All Things Digital report went a step ahead to say that Twitter will announce the service at the D9 conference coming up in California. If this is true the big news can come as early as Wednesday because Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is scheduled to speak at the conference on that day.

According to Digitaltrends, Twitter's move could be intended to take control of its ecosystem. Twitter's decision to buy Tweetdeck for about $40 million was a strategic move on these lines. As it is Twitter is more or less a no-frills platform that loses many people once they get some experience and start to explore alternatives.

A recent report from Sysomos showed the vulnerabilities of Twitter's old strategy. Te report said around 42 percent of all tweets are made using non-official Twitter services and applications. More enthusiastic and power users are using non-official services such as TweetDeck, UberSocial and Seesmic as many of these applications have many more features than despite recent improvements.

Bringing in the image feature will be a step in the right direction if Twitter is serious about making money. Right now tweets display links to images which are in turn provided by other services like TwitPic and yfrog.

And these services make their money by displaying advertisements on pages with images. If Twitter is intent on expanding its in app ecosystem then these services will feel the heat soon.

Twitter had made a commitment to empowering its ecosystem as early as February this year when it announced it was suspending UberMedia's apps UberTwitter and twitroyd for alleged violation of Twitter policies.We want to empower our ecosystem partners to build valuable businesses around the information flowing through Twitter, the microblogging site had said in a blog post.