Twitter’s Photo Project Better Be Good
Twitter just recently came out saying that it is working on Photo Filters as a way to bypass Instagram.
I have a feeling that this move is to keep user content within the Twitter ecosystem for Big Data purposes and out of Facebook’s. Funnily enough, 3 days after that story gets out Instagram announces that it is rolling out web-based profiles. And on the same day Facebook pushes out an iOS app update that improves messaging and sharing of multiple photos.
Facebook knew that photo sharing was important in its early days. It seemed to stumble with its mobile HTML5 strategy for a bit which seemed to give Instagram a leg up. But now that Facebook has re-written their apps in native code, launched their own camera app “Camera*” and acquired Instagram, it does not appear to be showing any signs of decreasing its focus on photos.
Twitter Takes on Instagram
NYTimes.com is reporting that Twitter is working on building photo filters into the Mobile Twitter app.
In the coming months, Twitter plans to update its mobile applications to introduce filters for photos that will allow people to share altered images on Twitter and bypass Instagram, the popular mobilecentric photo-sharing network…
The article briefly touches on the big issues here:
Although Twitter considered a photocentric product acquisition for some time, the move to build its own filters was hastened after Facebook said it would buy Instagram for $1 billion.
Twitter isn’t doing this just to take on Instagram, it is doing this move to take on Facebook. Facebook has had two mobile photography apps, Instagram and Camera*, in the marketplace for a while. Instagram provides Facebook with user data and uses Twitter as a big dumb pipe.
It would be very interesting to see how many photo tweets are actually native to Twitter versus the numerous photo apps out there. I would bet that a very small percentage of photo tweets originate from twitter. Twitter wants to keep as much user data within its own ecosystem.
Twitter needs to realize that this is about more than just “adding filters”. They need to evaluate and fix the photo taking user experience if they want to compete with a photo apps. Photo apps like Instagram and Facebook’s “Camera*” take one tap to access the onboard camera. Twitter for iOS requires three taps (compose tweet > attach photo > take photo or video…). That is a cumbersome experience when someone wants to try and snap a quick picture.
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