We heard the rumors earlier this week, and now Twitter has officially launched its own photo service to be used on the site. The site partnered with PhotoBucket, and will be rolling the functionality out over the next few weeks. Once active, you will be able to upload pictures and videos directly on Twitter's website, as well as using its mobile client.

In addition to adding photo functionality, Twitter also added updated search functionality today. Partnering with Firefox, search on the site will now bring you more relevant tweets, as well as show you related pictures including  (that you're uploading using its photo service) and video on the same page, including those shared through third-party clients such as y.frog. If you use a new version of Firefox with Twitter, then you can search for a username (like me @emily) or hashtag directly in your browser, as well as a topic.

While the new photo functionality certainly adds a bit to the traditional Twitter site, it also is a huge blow to third-party developers who have already created popular photo sharing applications that are used with Twitter. Twitter's photo success is likely to destroy those companies ho won't be able to compete.

What do you think? Do you think it's good Twitter is getting into its own photo service, or should it have included third-party developers?