I’ve used TwitPic to link photos to my Twitter posts almost as long as I have been a semi-active Twitter user. I like applications that do one thing, simply and well. Sort of like Foxmarks before they ruined it, but that’s another story. TwitPic works perfectly for my purposes. It’s embedded within Tweetie, my preferred and only iPhone Twitter application. I also like the TwitPicGrid in small doses.
Today, I read about TweetPhoto, a new Twitter photo sharing application (isn’t it great when multiple developers fight to see who can give away stuff to more people?). At first blush it looks like TweetPhoto suffers from the internet stats obsession (who saw my photo, god-awful trending tags, etc.) that I most affirmatively do not share, but let’s take a closer look.
Once you sign in with your Twitter credentials, you get a nice looking upload screen.
That seems like a lot of work compared to the Tweetie/TwitPic integration or the integrated Trunc.it photo sharing via TwitterGadget, my Twitter app of choice. When you upload the photo, a box pops up asking if you want to push the photo to Facebook too. Nope, I don’t. The app then adds a Twitter post with a photo link to your Twitter stream.
OK, that’s fine and dandy. But it’s no different than TwitPic. Let’s see what else TweetPhoto has to offer. It shows me how many times my photo has been viewed, but (1) I don’t really care and (2) so does TwitPic. You can enlarge the photo, as you can on TwitPic. You can retweet it, which is a feature that’s not important to me, but one that TwitPic doesn’t have. And you can mark favorites.
Test Photo: 1970 in the Astrodome
It geo-tags photos posted via a mobile phone. I emailed a photo to test out the geo-tagging, but it hasn’t shown up on my TweetPhoto page 20 minutes after I emailed it. Hopefully that’s a glitch. If not, that’s not good. Time is everything online, just like offline.
The My Friends Photos tab leads to a page where you can see other TweetPhoto users’ photos and invite your friends to join (I don’t like my chances). You can supposedly show photos posted by your Twitter friends, but the app said I didn’t have any Twitter friends. It may be that this option only shows photos posted by your Twitter friends who also use TweetPhoto- which would be of limited value. The Public Stream looks like it shows other photos posted via TweetPhoto. Again, that’s not as interesting as TwitPicGrid. You can upload photos via email, which is nice, but, once again, not as easy as the Tweetie/TwitPic combination.
Navigation between those tabs was very Twitter-like (e.g., slow).
TweetPhoto is well-designed, and it has some neat features. But it’s not evolutionary enough to supplant the incumbents. Maybe like the rest of the online world, it is betting that the general population continues to flock to Twitter, so it can make its bones with new Twitter users. Maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell.