Twitter started as just a little bird with a big idea. Since its arrival, the social networking site has become a venue for everything from (overly) personal status updates, the world’s latest news, to virtual celebrity stalking.
Some might dramatically claim that Twitter has ruined humanity forever, or at least as altered our brains. Maybe Twitter does share blame for messing with our gray matter. But people really love that feathery blue fellow, and as Twitter continues to grow and transform, so does the manner in which we advertise, learn, and communicate.
Twitter Releases Photo Sharing to All Users
In an ever-growing quest to encourage our insatiable need for instant gratification, Twitter released the photo sharing feature to all Twitter users yesterday. Up till now, this feature has been offered to only some lucky tweeters, but now it’s open season for photo sharing.
Keeping with Twitter’s simple interface, the photo sharing option is small and unobtrusive – so much so, that you might miss it at first, which is why you might see this upon logging in:
The photo upload icon is the adorable little camera sitting discretely under the tweet box.
All you have to do is click it, and you’ll get a popup prompting you to choose a photo to upload.
You’ll see your photo displayed as a little thumbnail before you post it, but in the tweet it will be displayed as a pic.twitter.com hyperlink. I tested the new photo sharing by tweeting my #sunflower photo out to the world.
Clicking the hyperlink brings you to the photo. The images are hosted and stored by Twitter’s photo sharing partner, Photobucket.
Gear Up for Galleries
Although they’ve yet to be implemented, galleries are on the horizon. Twitter plans on creating user media galleries that will store all photos a user shares on Twitter. Images will be stripped of their EXIF data, removing any private information you might not want others to have access to. Your photos will be searchable to the Twitterverse, unless you have a protected account.
If you’ve grown accustomed to third-party upload services such as yFrog and Twitpic, have no fear. You can keep using these services, and those images will appear in upcoming galleries as well.
Mobile Photo Sharing
While Twitter hasn’t said a peep yet about when photo uploading will be possible for mobile apps, I imagine it should be an option coming along shortly. Mobile photo sharing is currently all the rage, and having this feature available for the mobile Twitter app is paramount to its success.
What Does This Mean for Businesses?
Photo sharing on Twitter means that business will have more opportunities to share what makes their brand unique. Businesses will have the chance to be more creative in imagining how Twitter can be used to encourage dialogue with consumers.
Some ideas for how business might take advantage of photo uploading:
- Photo Contests – Ask users to share a photo and reward the best shutterbugs.
- Seeing Inside the Company – Twitter is already a more casual social site, with businesses who share fun, informative advice receiving more followers than bland posters. Take some shots at the company picnic to show the people behind the Twitter handle.
- Follower of the Week – Showcase your favorite followers for some extra TLC.
Do you have any creative ideas about how your business can use Twitter’s photo sharing feature? Share them with us!