SAN FRANCISCO - The photo-sharing service Twitpic announced Thursday it was shutting down, saying it faced an ultimatum from Twitter to abandon its trademark or lose access to the messaging service.

Twitpic, launched in 2008, allowed users to post photographs on the messaging platform before Twitter adding its own photo-sharing option in 2011. Twitpic founder Noah Everett said the demand from Twitter came as a surprise, and that he had no option other than to end the service. ‘A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API,’ he said, referring to the application programming interface. ‘This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the (US patent office) since 2009.’ In his blog post, Everett said, ‘Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark, which we believe wholeheartedly is rightfully ours.