Twitpic is shutting down

UPDATE: It’s with a heavy heart that I announce again that Twitpic will be shutting down on October 25th. We worked through a handful of potential acquirers and exhausted all potential options. We were almost certain we had found a new home for Twitpic (hence our previous tweet), but agreeable terms could not be met. Normally we wouldn’t announce something like that prematurely but we were hoping to let our users know as soon as possible that Twitpic was living on.

I’m sincerely sorry (and embarrassed) for the circumstances leading up to this, from our initial shutdown announcement to an acquisition false alarm.

You can export your data and photos at: http://twitpic.com/account/settings

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Twitpic will be shutting down September 25th. You will be able to export all your photos and videos. We’ll let everyone know when this feature is live in the next few days. (The export tool can be found at http://twitpic.com/account/settings)

This is an unexpected and hard announcement for us to make and we want to lay out what led us to this decision.

A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the USPTO since 2009.

Here is some backstory on the history of our trademark:

We originally filed for our trademark in 2009 and our first use in commerce dates back to February 2008 when we launched. We encountered several hurdles and difficulties in getting our trademark approved even though our first use in commerce predated other applications, but we worked through each challenge and in fact had just recently finished the last one. During the “published for opposition” phase of the trademark is when Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.

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.

On a personal note I (@noaheverett) want to thank you for letting us be a part of your life and helping you share your experiences over the past 6 years, it’s truly been an honor. I have learned so much through running Twitpic over the years. Through the many mistakes I’ve made and lessons learned, to the bad days and the great days. Thank you again everyone…I will miss and cherish the days of Twitpic we had together.

Hiring an Advertising Manager

Twitpic is seeking an experienced Advertising Manager to develop, implement, and manage our advertising strategy, both from a business, sales and technical perspective with advertisers, agencies and networks. You will work on cutting edge monetization projects within our Ads and Commerce team. Dealing with advertising campaigns large and small.

If you’re an enthusiastic Twitter/Twitpic user with relevant sales/account management experience, analytical skills, and a passion for learning, who thrives at the intersection of business, technology, data, and marketing we invite you to talk to us about our advertising sales organization at Twitpic Inc.

This is a full-time salary position that could be worked remotely (US residents only).

Responsibilities

  • Manage all aspects of an ad server
  • Proactively seek ad sales as well as monitor current ad sales
  • Collaborating with advertisers to understand their objectives, recommending best practices, and developing effective campaigns
  • Executing, optimizing, and analyzing advertising programs using internal tools and dashboards
  • Resolving campaign issues in a timely and productive manner, and identifying and implementing process improvements
  • Managing contracts and renewals, and assisting our with payables and collections
  • Providing feedback to our product and tools teams to help us scale our advertising platform
  • Mentoring new team members as our organization grows
  • Other duties as needed may include: general office administration and customer support

Requirements

  • 2+ years of experience managing digital marketing programs for advertisers or their agencies
  • Demonstrated ability to create, develop, and enhance customer relationships
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, attention to detail, and a bias for proactively resolving issues
  • Aptitude, creativity, and a preference for working in small, collaborative teams with minimal supervision
  • A passion for Twitpic and our mission
  • Demonstrable experience in Ads or Commerce (managing large scale ad systems infrastructure, serving, targeting or e-commerce systems; digital goods/gaming systems a plus)
  • Good understanding of web technologies (HTML, Javascript, Flash, CSS)
  • Overall we need someone with a positive attitude, who is a great communicator, great leader and very, very proactive

How to Apply

Please email your resume to jobs@twitpic.com with a subject of “Advertising Manager”.

We hit 10 million users today!

It’s a big milestone day for us here at Twitpic and we want to say thank you to all of our users…all 10 million of you (not to mention the 40 million different people who visit the site every month)!

I launched Twitpic 2 years ago over a weekend as a pet project and I had no idea it would turn into what it has today – Twitpic would not be what it is without all of you, our faithful users, and you truly do mean a lot to us…*queue group hug*

To show our thanks we are also releasing a new feature today called Face Tagging. With Face Tagging you can tag people in your photos and also let them know when they’ve been tagged. If you are familiar with Facebook’s photo tagging then this should be very familiar to you.

Face Tagging in action

Twitpic Face Tagging

We hope you enjoy the new features and we have much more in the works!

Also we will be giving out free hugs to all of our users to say thanks…@noaheverett likes hugs.

Get your Twitpic stickers

Update: The deadline for us to receive your SASE to be part of the Twitpic sticker contest is December 31st. You can still send us an SASE after December 31st and you will still get free stickers.

We were overwhelmed by the response to the Twitpic stickers we just got in, so we have been working on a plan to get YOU these stickers.

Here’s how it works:
Just send a Self Addressed, Stamped Envelope to the address below and we will send you back some Twitpic stickers!

Feel free to include a note confessing your undying love for Twitpic or a stick figure that you drew, since @noaheverett himself will be receiving this mail at his apartment and he likes real mail (not junk mail full of coupons that he never users…except for the pizza ones, those were good)

A note will be included with your stickers with instructions on a photo contest we are running in conjunction with these free stickers…and yes there will be a prize for the winner.

So to recap just send a self addressed, stamped envelope to:

Attn: @noaheverett
7736 Farr St Apt 907
Charleston, SC 29492

..and you will get Twitpic stickers! and maybe some lint

Email posting vulnerability fixed

Yesterday we were made aware of a vulnerability with our email posting system that would allow someone to brute force someone’s Twitpic email PIN by trying every combination until one worked. A fix has been put in place to prevent this from happening.

I want to stress that no account information was compromised, the vulnerability only allowed someone to post a photo to Twitpic/Twitter on someone’s behalf, but did not allow access to their account in any way. Once we were made aware of the issue we immediately began work on a fix and also shut down email system to prevent any unauthorized postings. Also any account that was affected by this was remedied. Less than 10 users were affected by the attacks.

I want to make it clear that this was NOT a Twitter issue, but a Twitpic issue, and I take full responsibility for it. Once I contacted Twitter about the issue on our end, they worked with us to help remedy any unauthorized postings and they were extremely helpful. Kudos to the Twitter team.

We have already begun working with the ISP’s where the attacks originated from to find out who they were initiated by and to investigate what action should be taken. The ISP’s have been helpful and have already given us information about the accounts where the attacks originated from – (@noaheverett has already broke out the ninja suit…on snap).

I want to apologize to anyone this has affected and I want you to know that we take security seriously. Thank you very much for being Twitpic users and allowing us to be part of your photo sharing experience.

Hiring a Software/Systems Engineer

If you spent 15 hours a day on the computer growing up like I did and drink enough caffeine to kill a horse, then this may interest you.

The technical challenges and work load have become too much for just me (@noaheverett) to do alone, so Twitpic is looking to add a Software/Systems Engineer because it’s growing and it’s growing fast. Twitpic has close to 1.5 million users over 3 million users now and is accelerating at an astounding rate.

What we are looking for:

  • Experience with all aspects of the LAMP stack (aka PHP ninja)
  • Experience working on web platforms that receive millions of request every day and scaling those platforms (including web serving, database optimization, & code optimization)
  • Knowledge of standards compliant HTML/CSS/Javascript a plus
  • Self motivated, passionate & a team player
  • Someone who loves Twitter and its community

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain existing and engineer new functionality
  • Continually improve the performance and scalability of the Twitpic service
  • Monitor service stability and performance
  • Design, implement, and maintain PHP-based application and infrastructure components
  • Refactor and improve maintainability of the codebase
  • Rapidly fix bugs and solve problems
  • Provide user support when needed
  • Do @noaheverett‘s laundry…just kidding…but seriously

NOTE: this position is located in Charleston, South Carolina

lolcat-job

Send your resume to jobs@twitpic.com.

Be sure to include the title of this position “Software/Systems Engineer” in the subject.

Bringing the Rain

Hello everyone, I wanted to give you an update on what we’ve been up to at Twitpic and some new things that are coming.

First off, the data center move was completed last week and things are running much smoother now. The move is now allowing us to scale easier as Twitpic grows and boy are we growing at an astounding rate. Thank you so much for your patience with us these last few months as we’ve learned to handle Twitpic’s growth.

Secondly, I wanted to address the issue of pornography being uploaded to Twitpic and some users posting harassing comments and tags on photos. Let me just start by saying that this will NOT be tolerated and in the next coming weeks any user found in violation of our Terms of Service, uploading inappropriate content, and/or posting harassing comments/tags will be banned.

This has not been a huge issue in the past, but since Twitpic has been growing by leaps and bounds lately its become something that has to be put in check. I know I personally wouldn’t want to be presented with this kind of content and neither should you have to be presented with it either. My goal is to create a site that is family friendly. Also, the ability to delete comments/tags from your photos is being added this week.

Some really exciting things are in the works so stay tuned and THANK YOU for allowing us to be a part of your photo sharing experiences.

Moving to a new data center & other things that make you squeal

Twitpic will be taken down tonight at 10pm CST to complete the move to its new data center. It should only be down for a few hours.

This is the first big step in making Twitpic more reliable. This move will put Twitpic on its new hardware platform with over 3 times it’s current capacity…basically we bought more hamsters and put them in bigger wheels and gave them red bull (which is illegal in 48 states, but I know someone in government and they owed me a favor so its cool).

A new sexier & younger looking…uhhhh…*cough* a NEW layout for Twitpic will also be released tonight, below is a preview:

twitpic-2-preview

Thanks for hanging in there with us! There is much much more coming.

Its red bull time…

Plan of action

Hello everyone, I wanted to give you a heads up of whats going on with Twitpic and whats going to be happening soon.

First off I want to thank all of our faithful users and all of the developers who have added Twitpic support into their apps, thank you very very much.

We are growing at a fantastic rate of over 6,000 users a day and the amount of photos posted every day is growing very fast as well.

Some of you have noticed an issue with Twitpic lately has randomly caused a few photos to show the incorrect (usually corrupted) photo, I’ve been aware of this issue and have been working on it. A brand new Twitpic will be released in the next coming weeks that WILL fix that issue (its mostly caused by the scale we have grown to).

The new Twitpic will be on a brand new hardware platform that will allow us to scale with our growth much easier and it will also sport a brand new design and layout. The first release that’s coming out in the next few weeks will have just the core functionality of what Twitpic is now because the main goal with that release is to get the site on its new hardware platform. Once that is completed I will be releasing new functionality.

Thank you so much for being patient with us as we grow. Hang tight! Twitpic will be running much smoother in a few weeks.

I dropped the ball

In this post I want to let you know what happened to cause Twitpic to go down for roughly 24 hours on Sunday and to let you know what the plan is. I’ll start off by what happened and what went wrong.

Twitpic was going to be down for scheduled maintenance Sunday morning at 12am CST. During this maintenance time I was moving some of Twitpic’s servers around in our data center and getting things ready for the switch to Twitpic’s new hardware platform that is going live sometime this quarter. The move itself went fine, but after the move a hardware failure occurred on one of our main servers that caused Twitpic to run slow and then eventually go down completely. After troubleshooting for hours and realizing I couldn’t fix the server since the issue was due to a hardware failure, I setup a new server to take over.

Twitpic being down that long is not acceptable. I am very sorry and I (@noaheverett) take full responsibility.

My main goal is to make Twitpic stable and to prepare for our growth. For the past few months I’ve been building a scalable hardware platform to run Twitpic on and I will be going live with that this quarter. I’m also taking the appropriate means to get funding into Twitpic. I do realize that me running the service by myself will become a bottle neck to Twitpic and so I am looking to grow Twitpic from just me, to a great team.

I truly am thankful for the support you have given me and for your words of encouragement. I want to pay you back by giving you the best service possible. I really believe we can change the world with this.