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Twitpic saved by Twitter just hours before planned shut down

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Twitpic has reached its final chapter. The once-popular image sharing service announced today that it has reached an agreement to be acquired by Twitter, saving millions of photos that were set to go up in smoke later today. In a blog post, founder Noah Everett said "we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being." He added, "Twitter shares our goal of protecting our users and this data."

The service was one of the first and, ultimately, most popular ways to share photos on Twitter. Until more recent years, Twitter itself didn't offer a way to upload and share photos on the social network — users were forced to host images elsewhere before tweeting them. However, once Twitter began to focus on image sharing itself, it rendered Twitpic and competing services largely obsolete.

Millions of photos were set to disappear over night

Last month, Twitpic announced it had been forced to shut down after Twitter's legal team demanded that the company abandon its trademark application or risk losing access to the social network's API — a service key to keeping Twitpic functioning. Twitpic said it didn't have the finances to fight Twitter in court, and would have to close its doors. Then, two weeks later, the company said it'd been saved thanks to an acquisition, only to announce a month later that the deal had fallen through.

Now, with the Twitter acquisition, Twitpic will enter a "read only" mode, says Everett. The company's Android and Apple apps have been removed from their respective app stores, and the service will no longer accept new uploads. In closing, Everett writes, "I want to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of your photo sharing memories for nearly seven years. It has been an honor."