SnapTweet – a Twitter photo service review

To date I have tried three services. Twitxr, TwitPic, and now SnapTweet

SnapTweet Logo

The exploring of Twitter integrated photo services continues… Today’s post is on SnapTweet, a service working towards announcing Flickr image uploads via Twitter updates.

Before continuing, here’s my philosophy on how a perfect Flickr/Twitter integration works:

  1. Images posted to Flickr are optionally announced on Twitter.
  2. No additional account required – either Twitter or Flickr is used for authentication.
  3. Do not attempt to own the content. It’s ok to own distribution. Images on Flickr. Tweets on Twitter. Render wherever. That’s how consumers what their content.


For the most part, SnapTweet fits my requirements. There are bugs and gotchas with their implementation, but this is an ideal service for many folks. SnapTweet is tailored for the person who spends time in Flickr and wants announcements sent via Twitter. It is not for the person who Twitters all day and uses Flickr as a repository (me). A pretty neat feature is the direct message to send a link to the latest image on Flickr.

How SnapTweet works

SnapTweet uses one’s Twitter credentials via the Twitter API for authentication. After logging in you are asked for your Flickr username. You are given the option to enter a user-defined tag name so SnapTweet can synchronize with Flickr.

SnapTweet allows update announcements with links to your Flickr images in one of two ways. Tag the image on Flickr with the user-defined tag set in SnapTweet or send a direct message to @snaptweet on Twitter.


I set my user-defined tag to ‘snaptweet’, but anything could be used. SnapTweet synchronizes with Flickr by checking tags of the 10 most recent images. When an image is found with a tag, a Twitter update with a link to the image is fired. The Twitter status update is set to the name of the image in Flickr (power users can customize the update via additional tags).

This is outstanding for anyone who spends time in Flickr. Simply tag images and have them announced.

Direct Messages

I’ll be using direct messaging. When you send a direct message to @snaptweet, it grabs the link to your most recent public Flickr upload and sends a Twitter update with the text from your direct message, with the link to the image appended.


There is a drawback to using tags: Timing. A Twitter update is sent when synchronization between SnapTweet and Flickr occurs. It’s easily possible for this to happen many minutes after you’ve set a tag, which may be after you’ve already sent your own updates to Twitter. This gets confusing, and it’s never fun to wonder when your tweet will post.

Tagging via an email upload is a royal pain. Using the tag method as a way post announcements on the go isn’t optimal and there are more elegant solutions out there.

The direct message feature requires your knowing the most recent image on Flickr. This is usually not a problem, but if you’re rapid-firing image uploads, you may cross up an update.


SnapTweet follows the right philosophy for delivering your content. They let Twitter and Flickr host the data. They’re good for the Flickr lover who prefers spending time in Flickr over Twitter. I recommend SnapTweet for users in this category. The direct message to get the latest pic is a nice trick to keep handy for simpler image posting.

Overall, for users wanting to send pics with commentary on the go, my TwitPic + Flickr method is your best option. SnapTweet doesn’t do well in a real-time posting environment since it has to synchronize and you have to add the task of tagging your images.

9 thoughts on “SnapTweet – a Twitter photo service review

  1. Thanks for the writeup and review of SnapTweet, Sol. As you can imagine, I am with you philosophically on the “right way” to join these two services.

    As for the problems you had with tagging, it has always worked for me, so I don't know what issues you ran into there. Sounds frustrating! Another neat feature that Flickr offers is to have default tags set on incoming emails. This removes the need to have to put the tag into the email. Of course, this assumes you want to lifestream every emailed Flickr photo to Twitter. I guess many people do roll like that.

    The timing issue can come up with direct messaging. You have to make sure that Flickr has actually received your post via email. With the tagging method, I can see how if you are expecting real-time, you may be a bit anxious. But once you've used a service successfully and trust that the pics will post, then just tagging them in your mail to Flickr and moving on will probably work for most people, imho.

    Your two emails method works of course, but I'd rather just store my photos in one place. I've considered offering a mail-in service which then forwards on to Flickr and only temporarily resides with my service. Perhaps some folks would still like something like that.

    Feel free to let me know if there is something else you'd like to see.


  2. @willie on Twitter pointed out you can set up Flickr auto-tags for email. A nice feature that obviates the need for putting any tags in email for SnapTweet to pick up your emailed pics.

  3. That means every image sent to Flickr results in a Twitter announcement. Fine for some, but my preference is to have a choice. If I'm uploading a set of 20 pics of an event, I don't want each image to be an announcement.

    But thanks for pointing that out.

  4. No, but that Flickr link shows what I typed into the email. This page on Flickr also shows how to do it.

    SendPics sounds useful, but I'm not jailbroken and don't plan to. I'm sure come June sending fullrez photos from your iPhone with true iPhone SDK apps is going to be easy to do!

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