You're a Twitter user? You enjoy posting pictures? You
are using used to use ÜberTwitter? Read on...
ÜberTwitter is an app for iPhone and BlackBerry and claims to be "the #1 Twitter client in the world." Judging by the tweets I read (mostly from BlackBerry users) that might very well be true. The app defaults to a photo sharing service named Plixi when you tweet a photo. Nothing seemed wrong with that setup.
The celebrity photo agency WENN has reportedly struck a deal with Plixi to license photos posted on that service. Of course, it was only a matter of time until a deal like that would be made and if done transparently, it's probably not a problem, depending on the actual terms.
I wondered if users might be made aware of that deal so they can make educated decisions about what happens to their photos. So I tested it out:
I installed ÜberTwitter on my iPhone and posted a test tweet with an old photo of myself.
When doing that,
- I was not presented with an option to choose Plixi or another photo sharing service (i.e. ÜberTwitter silently defaults to Plixi),
- I could not change the settings to a different photo sharing service manually later on and
- I was not presented with Plixi's Terms of Service either.
If you read those TOS closely, the company explains that while I would retain copyright, they can sell the pictures I post as they please via whomever they please. They even state that once a partner of Plixi has copied the image off of Plixi's servers, even my removal of the photo from Plixi would still allow that partner to keep licensing the photo.
My gut feeling says this whole scenario might be legally challengeable. But I'm not a lawyer.
If you care about who makes money with your images -- especially if you or others count yourself as a celebrity -- your best bet right now is to use a different photo sharing service for Twitter.
To accomplish this, I would suggest you check out other Twitter clients for iPhone and BlackBerry.
Good and easily configurable are Twitter's official clients themselves:
Twitter for iPhone (iTunes link)
Twitter for BlackBerry (BB App Store link)
Good luck -- and make sure you know what the services you use allow themselves to do with your content.
 UPDATE 02/18/11: Twitter has just announced in an email to registered UberTwitter users and on their website that it suspended the application for policy violations. While Twitter has not done this to address the photo issue outlined above, one of the automatic outcomes of this move is that the you now have to use an application other than UberTwitter -- which also means you now have a choice of photo upload service.