Twitter adds photo function to API

It allows external developers to include photos with their application's tweets

Twitter has added a native function to its API for attaching images to posts, designed to make it easier for third-party developers to include photos with their applications' messages, or "tweets."

The move follows the recent introduction of a native feature on Twitter.com that lets end users upload images and distribute them via their tweets.

Previously, both developers and end users had to use third-party tools to embed images with their tweets but Twitter has decided that this photo upload functionality needs to be a core part of Twitter.com and its application development platform.

"Photos are a fundamental way that people share context, information, jokes, and personal moments on Twitter. Following last week's wider release of photos to Twitter.com users, we're ready to share our media upload API, which will allow developers to conveniently attach an image to a Tweet," wrote Twitter official Jason Costa in a blog post.

In its first years, Twitter provided a bare-bones set of features for its popular microblogging service, relying on third-party developers for creating tools and applications that added complementary functionality.

However, in the past 18 months or so, Twitter has been building up the site's native feature set, adding functionality previously provided by external developers, some of whom have become disgruntled at having to suddenly compete with Twitter.

In its defense, Twitter has pointed out that in order to ensure a better and more secure user experience, it must provide some features natively, and that there exist plenty of other areas for developers to provide complementary functionality.

To counter the charges that a substantial portion of developers have become disgruntled, Twitter announced in July that in the past year the number of third-party applications had grown by 850,000 titles, topping the 1 million mark.

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Tags Development toolsInternet-based applications and servicesapplication developmentsoftwaresocial networkingtwittersocial mediainternet

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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