Flickr + Twitter integration via – How to




It was April 6th, 2008 that I posted How to post images to Twitter and Flickr at the same time from an iPhone. It has been one of the more popular posts on this blog.

Flickr now makes it possible to post to Twitter directly via an emailed photo AND via Blog This. Their integration removes the need for TwitPic, and arguably SnapTweet too (though SnapTweet is faster than using Blog This and can be used for multiple images at once).

Images are posted to Twitter with Flickr’s new URL shortener.

Here’s how to get set up:

  1. Visit Flickr’s beta testing group’s page (actually, this step isn’t necessary, but if you run in to problems, their page is the best resource).
  2. Associate your Twitter account with your Flickr account here. It leads you through the process and uses OAuth, a safer mechanism than providing your password.
  3. You will be provided with a second special email address to send images to. If your main Flickr image email address is, your Flickr+Twitter email address will be
  4. Send away!

Photos sent to your primary Flickr image address will be processed as normal (not submitted to Twitter). Photos sent to your new 2twitter version will be processed and then immediately posted to Twitter. Your tweet will consist of [subject_line] [url], with the [url] being Flickr’s shortened url.


After signing up for the Twitter integration you also get a new Blog This addition when viewing a single image. Clicking Blog This brings up the option to post an existing image directly to Twitter. You can post your own, as well as other Flickr users, images via this feature. Very powerful.

How to build a really successful web 2.0 service on top of another service and screw it all up

Twicecream – a fake service to demonstrate a point about single sign-on…

In web 2.0 there is a determination to screw up potentially great services. It’s my number #1 pet peeve with software development these days. Here’s a fictitious example of a service you might create…

You’ve built a service that automatically Twitters your geo-position and the name of an ice cream parlor when you’re in front of it. Your phone buzzes when an ice cream parlor is detected and begins sending photos to SnapTweet and TwitPic, including Zagats ratings and commentary. Other patrons respond back and generate conversations. This is your social network: Twicecream – a social network for twittering ice cream enthusiasts.

In front of Ben & Jerry’s on the Wharf, Zagats 4-stars, pics:

Congratulations! You just failed.

You didn’t fail by creating a service few would use. You failed because you didn’t utilize the authentication mechanism your patrons preferred. You built an unnecessary barrier to your garden by requiring an unnecessary account creation. Don’t do this, it’s arrogant and inefficient.

Your patrons have Twitter accounts. Twitter has an API. Your service should have asked the patron to log in with their Twitter credentials.

This isn’t just for social networking. This goes for all web services. SaaS solutions that require secondary account creations are a bad idea. Single sign-on, whenever possible, should be used.

The whole idea is to simplify access to what the customer needs. If you’re requiring unnecessary account creations, you’re screwing it all up.