After flip-flopping between closing, then not closing, and finally closing, Twitpic has now shut up shop. But that's not quite the end of the story. There had been rumours flying round that Twitter was going to buy the image and video hosting service, that that ultimately amounted to nothing. The latest twist in the story is that Twitpic and Twitter have come to an arrangement that means content that has already been uploaded is safe. For now, at least.
In a statement on the Twitpic blog, founder Noah Everett explains that a deal has been struck with Twitter. What this amounts to is Twitpic handing over the domain and content archive to Twitter. This will keep "the photos and links alive for the time being".
The phrase "for the time being" is interesting. It could be that Twitter and Twitpic simply do not know how long the arrangement will be in place, or it may be that Twitter has plans that will be revealed at a later date. Everett says that "since Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, it makes sense to keep this data with Twitter".
The blog post also explains that the iOS and Android Twitpic apps have been removed from their respective stores, and are no longer supported. The Twitpic site, having been handed over to Twitter, remains online, but only in read-only mode - it is still possible to delete content if you want. And, of course, the option to export data from your account is still available, and this is something you might want to take advantage of.
It's not clear quite what this means in the long term. On one hand, it's hard to imagine Twitter annoying hundreds of thousands of Twitpic users by just trashing their photos and videos, but on the other hand... well... you just never know.