Nov. 14, 2011 at 10:48 AM ET
After only three months, Twitter's homegrown photo sharing service has already surpassed its rivals in popularity, especially after its integration on iPhones in October.
Skylines, a "real-time photo search engine that matches the personal interests of users with real-time, relevant pictures," launched in May, released an analysis of research gathered in October. According to the analysis, Twitter's own photo sharing service was used more often than Instagram, Twitpic and Yfrog, at least during the week of Oct. 22, when 24 million photos were posted to Twitter. Looks like a good chunk of Twitter's 100 million active users can't get enough of sharing the images of daily life, vacations and original creations with whoever follows them.
It now has already acquired the number one position in photo sharing services (over 36%), passing Twitpic (30%, launched in 2008) and Yfrog (21%, launched in 2009). It is expected that the official Twitter photo sharing service will be integrated in Twitter for Android and Blackberry as well, driving back Yfrog and Twitpic and significantly increasing Twitter's own photo service's share.
In October, Twitter announced that it was fully integrated into the iOS5, which allows those with iPads, iPhones and iPod touches to upload images directly to Twitter (pic.twitter.com). Skylines research showed Twitter for iPhone already accounts for 21 percent of the ways people share photos on Twitter, making it the biggest single sharing conduit. After that comes the official pic.twitter photo sharing service at 17 percent and Instagram at 12 percent.
Martijn Pannevis, CEO of Skylines, explained how his company differentiates between picture services and clients.
There are only a few picture services (we included the 4 main ones in this report: yFrog, Twitpic, Instagram and Twitter itself), but many more Twitter clients that use these services. E.g. Twitter for Android is a client that uses Yfrog by default to share it's pictures with. To complicate these further, most services have also a client with the same name, but also offer to share pictures from other clients.
So Twitpic is the second largest service, while Instagram is a large client (and also a large service).
As mentioned by Pannevis above and in the Skylines blog post, photo services are also tied to different mobile operating systems: "The most popular client for yfrog photos is Twitter for Blackberry (47 percent), whereas on Twitpic the platform used most is Android (39 percentTwitter for Android). Twitter's photo service and Instagram are the most important photo sharing services for iPhone, Yfrog for Blackberry and Twitpic for Android."