Privacy, lawsuits and injunctions seem to be the buzzwords of the last few weeks, and the photo and picture sharing community doesn’t appear to be immune to the media buzz either.
On Wednesday Twitter photo-sharing platform Twitpic produced a blog post to apologise for the confusion over its recent terms and conditions change, and to clarify who owns the content uploaded to its site. In a summary of the changes, Twitpic are saying whilst “you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos” uploaded to Twitpic – though technically yours – may forever be licensed to Twitpic.
The team at ReadWriteWeb gave a good insight into the Twitpic news (which is well worth a read) and they found that Twitpic’s terms of service were not unique. Rather, they are the norm. The general summary for photo-sharing apps and services is ‘you own the content you create, but if you use our service, you’re giving us permission to use your content’.
The bigger problem is that many believed their pictures were being sold to large media corporations. Twitpic changed its terms and conditions initially because many pictures from the site found their way into mainstream media reports – the most famous being images of the plane crash in the Hudson river in January 2009. By changing its terms, Twitpic hopes to limit this abuse.
I am a Twitpic user, and often upload photo of bigmouthmedia events, conference, marketing collateral and travel pics, but many others have vented their frustration on Twitter, cancelled their accounts and headed to other photo-sharing sites.
If you’re in that collection of people, here are seven alternative services for photo-sharing lovers (in no particular order):
- Ow.ly – developed by Hootsuite, Ow.ly is a URL shortener first and foremost, but once connected with Twitter you can share images, files and soon videos. Ow.ly also has a Ow.ly pro option which features branded URL shortening and custom URL parameters to track campaigns in Google Analytics and Omniture.
- Posterous – is essentially a simple blogging platform, designed particularly for mobile blogging. In January 2010 Posterous turned Post.ly into a media sharing service for Twitter. In January 2011, Posterous laucnhed an Android app for faster posting from mobiles.http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/21/posterous-postly-twitter/
- Instagram – designed specifically as an app for the iPhone, Instagram provides all the usually mobile picture sharing functionality, but unlike other sharing apps it allows you to transform the look and feel of your photos before you send them to Twitter and/or Facebook. As an example, have a look at the picture below of the cute bulldog owned by one of the bigmouth team:
- Twitgoo – the default image sharing client for HTC smartphones, Twitgoo is almost identical to Twitpic. It is plain and simple: log in, connect, share.
- yfrog – one of the more popular picture sharing sites. yfrog for iPhone is an open source Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- Picplz – quick and easy upload using apps for Apple and Android. Like Instagram, Picplz allows photo effects to give your picture a little personality.
- Snapbucket – the newest mobile photo-sharing option on the market. The team behind Photobucket released Snapbucket mobile apps for iPhone and Android on Tuesday 10th May, and the app already has four stars in the Android market.
In November 2009 Mashable ran a poll for readers to share their thoughts on the best Twitter photo-sharing service, for which Twitpic came out top. I’m curious to see how that list has changed, so if you use a photo-sharing service or app – and can spare a minute whilst you drink your morning coffee – let us know you’re favourite.