Twitter is getting a lot of attention right now and for good reason: they’re about to launch an official photo-hosting service. In other words, they’re about to launch the equivalent of Facebook’s most popular feature and put themselves in the consumer and media crosshairs ala Color, the company that raised $41M in funding and hit the market with a thud. The photo-sharing space is white hot, and although there’s a lot of noise, if any new player is poised to make a big splash, it’s Twitter.
There are many things about this new service that excite me – both as it relates to Pixable specifically and around the innovation this represents for users. Perhaps the most exciting component of this news is the potential for a photo-sharing service so rich and powerful that it will become the world’s public image directory. Twitter has created behavioral rules around tagging contextual information with hashtags and sharing tweets publicly – these are huge advantages over Facebook’s photo service, among others. So, I foresee a tremendous opportunity for Twitter here.
Some additional thoughts follow below.
An image is the best form of microblogging
Twitter created what we now know as microblogging, but let’s be honest, communicating within the constraints of 140 characters can be difficult and important information is often left out. An image on the other hand is certainly worth more than 140 characters, adding another layer of context to this collection of words, and making any post much more powerful.
An image goes beyond language
We’ve already seen Twitter act as a global force from its influence in both Iran and Egypt. The introduction of photo-sharing to its service, will now create an even more accessible way to share and break important news globally and independent of language. Combine this with the breakneck speed at which information travels in the twittersphere, and that’s pretty exciting.
The majority of images being shared online are via Facebook and stripped of relevant metadata. This makes it nearly impossible to search and discover meaningful images from a contextual standpoint. At Pixable, we’ve realized that people care most about photos that are relevant from either a social connection or a topical interest. With Facebook specifically, it’s usually about who has been tagged in the photo or what has been said in the comments. These are things we take into account for Pixable’s algorithm for ranking and organizing photos.
It streamlines photo-sharing on twitter
Up until now, sharing photos on Twitter was a bit of a mess. There are various services that allow you to take a snapshot and share it via Twitter, and with so many, the Twitter photo sharing and viewing process becomes cumbersome – especially on mobile devices. This is exactly the problem Pixable solves – bringing order to the online photo chaos – we’ve built a killer viewing experience, with a simple, elegant design. So I’m happy that this process will now be more streamlined, and we can’t wait to integrate Twitter into Pixable.
So congratulations to Twitter on this exciting news – no doubt the success of the third-party photo-sharing apps was material to this decision; without the success of companies like yFrog, Twitpic, and many others, we may not have seen this innovation from Twitter so quickly. And, we have no doubts these developers will continue to thrive thanks to the exposure they’ve received as a result of their Twitter integrations.
Speaking of innovation and integration, back to work…