Media hosting service Twitpic will add support for video upload, storage and sharing today, the company says. “Users will be able to upload video from the site itself, email and clients that support our new Video option,” says Twitpic founder Noah Everett. “We’re making it easier for users to have their media all in one place to share on Twitter.”

Everett says that Twitpic has 17 million registered users and adds 30,000 more each day.

Leena Rao puts the startups move in context well in coverage at TechCrunch:

Adding video is a logical next step for TwitPic, which has focused solely on allowing users to upload photos to Twitter until now. The Twitter photo sharing horse race is undoubtedly competitive. Rivals Yfrog already supports video uploads and Plixi was just acquired by social network Lockerz. Twitter also recently partnered with TwitPic and others to include inline photos in-stream in the new version of Twitter’s interface.

Twitpic was subject of a recent high-profile lawsuit in which the Agence France-Presse claimed in court that by uploading photos to Twitter and Twitpic, a photographer has in effect granted a license to anyone who would like to use those photos. A US District Court ruled in December that no such claim could be made. U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley wrote in his decision says that “the provision that Twitter ‘encourage[s] and permit[s] broad re-use of Content’ does not clearly confer a right on other users to re-use copyrighted postings.”

TwitPic has been the service of choice for a number of prominent photos that spread rapidly across the social web, from the plane that landed on the Hudson River to a hastily removed but very humanizing candid shot of pop-star Katy Perry waking up without any makeup on. It will be interesting to see if videos of comparable impact are shared on the service as well.

There are many different ways to post pictures to Twitter, but the name Twitpic has almost become a Kleenex-level verb. I can’t think of any other 3rd party services built on a technology platform they don’t own that can be said about.