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This article was published on June 27, 2009

Flickr’s (auto post to Twitter) not taking off, yet.

Flickr’s (auto post to Twitter) not taking off, yet.
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

It has been a few weeks since Flickr launched a new feature which allows you to send a tweet to Twitter every time you post a photo. As a loyal Flickr user this has been a feature that I have been waiting/wishing/praying for! Mobypicture, Twitpic and yFrog all work fine too of course but I wanted to my photos to be on Flickr. Not scattered on the web.

I would rather have my photos and the views and comments to go with them in one place.

I would have imagined that once Flickr (easily the most popular Photo sharing website, especially among the tech-savvy early adopter crowd) would start offering Twitter notifications thousands of MobypictureTwitpic and yFrog users would start abandoning those services in favor of Flickr.

So far however none of this is happening. Granted, the service is officially still in ‘Semi-Private beta’ but as far as I can tell anyone can access and enable it. I have and have been using the service since it launched. It works flawlessly, fast and it is extremely easy to use.

You authenticate at Twitter via Flickr, get an email address to email to and you are done. Takes less then 30 seconds.

A search at twitter reveals how little people are actually using the feature. As you can see Flickr uses their own URLS shortener: A search for ‘’ will demonstrate how many people are using it. Right they seem to top out at about 20 posted photos per hour. Mobypicture and Twitpic seem to have at least 20 new uploads every 20 seconds.

Where Twitpic is the second most visited Twitter Service online, according to my own spreadsheet, now ranks last in our list of 35 services. I asked Mathys van Abbe, founder and CEO of Mobypicture how he feels about Flickr entering his market. His reply, via email: “Good to see Flickr/Yahoo is finally picking up on Twitter. The Yahoo CEO said Twitter was a hype… ;) I don’t really think the general quality of the phone cam shots matches the Flickr image and their core objectives.”

He might have a point. Flickr has always been focused on high quality photography. People don’t just dump all their photos on Flickr but tend to strive for quality. You could say that Flickr is about Photography and the other services are about snapshots. For Flickr this new feature might just be that; a small feature to keep Twitter users happy but not something they plan to promote.

We will keep a close eye on how that develops over the following months.