UPDATED: TweetPhoto, a service that allows users to share pictures through Twitter, said this morning that it’s closed a Series A funding round of $2.6 million from Canaan Partners, Anthem Partners and angel investors. So is this a case of a “hole-filler” getting funded? Last week, both Twitter investor Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and CEO Evan Williams talked about how there were various apps and add-on services that were simply “filling holes” in Twitter’s feature list, and that some of those would inevitably either get acquired or see competition from features launched by the company itself. Within days of those comments, Twitter bought the Tweetie iPhone app and released an official BlackBerry app, causing consternation among some third-party app developers.
For what it’s worth, TweetPhoto made sure to note in its press release and other public statements that its service can be used to share photos — and other media — across multiple networks, including Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn. The company also said that its APIs (application programming interfaces) support features that include commenting on photos, favoriting and voting, meta-data filters, geo-tagging and location-based search. It said the funding will be used to accelerate the development of a “real-time media sharing platform for the social web.” In other words, it’s not all about Twitter.
So does that mean the company will be changing its name? Because TweetPhoto sounds a lot like something that just works on Twitter. And does that mean the company’s real competition is in the form of services like Flickr and Picasa, or apps like Pixelpipe, which also allow photo sharing to multiple networks? I’ve got a request for comment in to the CEO, and will update if and when I get a response. In addition to the recent funding, Kodak also owns an equity stake in the company.
Update: TweetPhoto CEO Sean Callahan said in an interview (while he and his team were driving to the Chirp conference) that he thinks the company’s future is “pretty bright” despite the recent maneuvering involving Twitter and third-party apps and services. “We’re building a real-time media sharing platform for the social web,” he said. “Twitter is just one aspect of it.” Callahan admitted, however, that the company’s name implies that it is focused primarily on Twitter, and said they are thinking of changing it. “It’s something we’re definitely talking about, and we probably will at some point,” he said. As far as competing with Twitter goes, the CEO said that “it was kind of inevitable that Twitter would likely get into photo-sharing” and that’s why the company started adding support for other networks about four months ago.
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