As Techcrunch reports, cofounder/president Peter Pham leaves Color, which could be a good thing if he is the source of the stumbles of the company. I have always thought Pham was a smart guy, but don’t know about his product skills. Photobucket was a much more conventional play.
He’s been gone only a month, not long enough to see the results of how Nguyen is running the place now that Peter’s gone.
I enjoyed my use of Color during the Podio launch party in San Francisco a few months back, but have not used it since, really. It’s UX is awkward or mysterious, depending on your viewpoint, and there are so many alternatives, like Instagram.
I look forward to other innovation in the space, and it may be that Color will be part of that.
Twitter throws another hand grenade in the swimming pool, and decides that photo-sharing is something it needs to control.
The bigger question isn’t just photo-sharing (although why didn’t they buy one of the existing players instead of a odd partnership with Photobucket?) but their larger ambitions.
We live in an increasingly liquid world, and everything of interest seems to flow through the Twitter stream first. These bits are linked by URLs, usually shortened ones, and we now generally click on the links to see what they point to. That takes us out of Twitter, and inevitably, Twitter management would like us to stay in Twitter.
So, ultimately, Twitter will want to resolve all the media that are referenced by these URLs, and pull that into context for its users. That will include photos, videos, news, and anything else that the world can dream up.
So the real fallout of this most recent move isn’t just the crumbling of the dreams of photo sharing startups, but the reverberations through any service that is operating as an appliance on top of Twitter, resolving any sort of URLs and rendering them for users.
Twitter obviously wants to control the user experience of Twitter users, and wants to keep those users looking at Twitter real estate. So that means they will want to own and control the experience of contextualizing media in the stream.
The next ones to worry should be all the hot new social news apps that rely on the Twitter bloodstream to bring them oxygen.
We should expect Twitter to build or buy a Flipboard or News.me app, and destabilize that niche just like it is doing in the photo sharing space, today.
There are a number of rumors swirling around that suggest 1/ Twitter is getting into the photo sharing business, and 2/ Apple may be integrating that solution at a fundamental level of the new iOS 5, to be announced next week:
Yesterday, we first reported that Twitter was on the verge of launching their own photo-sharing service. That report has since been confirmed by Liz Gannes, who happens to work for All Things D, which is hosting a conference where Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was planning to announce this news. So, yeah. “Sources familiar with the matter.” Confirmed.
We’ve heard from multiple sources that Twitter is likely to have a big-time partner for such a service: Apple. Specifically, we’re hearing that Apple’s new iOS 5 will come with an option to share images to Twitter baked into the OS. This would be similar to the way you can currently share videos on YouTube with one click in iOS. Obviously, a user would have to enable this feature by logging in with their Twitter credentials in iOS. There would then be a “Send to Twitter” option for pictures stored on your device.
Apple announced today that they plan to show off iOS 5 for the first time at WWDC next week, confirming a report of ours from March. Now you see why Twitter would want to get this picture service out there ASAP. And why they’d want their own service.
As usual, John Gruber is way out ahead of the industry news folks, and wonders at a grander scale:
So close to the bigger story, but yet so far. Imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service.
I’ve been hand waving about the coming of a social OS for a long time, and suggesting that iOS is the perfect place for Apple to take control of the future. Here’s one mention from six months ago:
Stowe Boyd, Rockmelt: Why The Social Browser Won’t Matter
The next generation of operating systems will be social at the core. We won’t be fooling with files and folders. We will be connecting with others, reading streams from our friends, and tossing observations and hopes and insights into the wake we leave behind, spreading out to all that think we matter.
So, yes, browsers will be social in that new social world, but so what? Everything will be.
And another, even older:
Stowe Boyd, (Social) iTunes In The Cloud
Perhaps Apple is going to make social interaction a fundamental aspect of next generation operating platforms, so that global user identities will be used for more than logging in, and actions like following people and posting to your streamlings will be primary to the user experience, not implemented in a hundred incompatible ways by applications.
Could Twitter become part of that new social OS infrastructure? If so, why would Apple want to allow Twitter to operate as an independent company?
Yes, sure, it is possible to idealize Twitter as just an API, a service layer of a new architectural stack, that could — in principle — be replaced by some other implementation. In that way, Apple might abstract away from needing to possess Twitter.
But Twitter isn’t just the implementation of some collection of API calls: it is an existing and growing community of users.
If Apple wants to launch a next generation operating platform based on social principles, it would help to have a community like Twitter’s as your baseline for adoption. It’s filled with the world’s journalists and technocrats, for example. And it’s seething with revolutionary power and impetus.
So, maybe Jobs is going to announce an acquisition, and not just an integration?