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:
- Images posted to Flickr are optionally announced on Twitter.
- No additional account required – either Twitter or Flickr is used for authentication.
- 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.
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.