Twitter started out as fast way of telling everyone you’ve ever met that you just saw Johnny Depp eating a hot dog at the airport. But soon after we learned that anyone could say they saw anything which led to the creation of the phrase, “pics or it didn’t happen.”
From there, third party apps took over such as TwitPic and YFrog (leading me to wonder why frog?), giving you a way to upload the photo of Johnny that you snapped with your phone.
Soon, Twitter got tired of sharing the glory, and made it so you can upload photos directly to your account without the use of a third party but you still had to click and leave Twitter to see it.
Now, Twitter has taken that next step by adding your Twitter pics to your profile page.
The new gallery feature loads a strip of thumbnails of your recently uploaded pictures into the sidebar. When you view a person’s homepage directly, you get a larger image. When you view a profile by clicking on a person in your stream, you get a smaller set. Both filmstrips have scrolling arrows and you can click to enlarge the photos Facebook style.
Large mode shows the accompanying Tweet beneath the picture. You can scroll on this screen, or choose to see all of the thumbnails in a grid.
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For Twitter, this is a smart way to keep people on site longer and it does add a bit of pizazz to the otherwise boring, text filled pages. I clicked on the accounts of some of my friends and enjoyed seeing photos that I missed in the stream when they posted them.
This new tool is excellent for marketers because now your photos won’t be immediately buried in the stream. For example, suppose you Tweet a photo of your best selling Halloween costume on Wednesday and your second best on Friday. Anyone who clicks on your Friday Tweet will also see the photo from your Wednesday Tweet right above it. That’s an extra chance to sell that product and Twitter is giving you six of those in your sidebar.
The Twitter gallery means its time to stop getting sloppy about the photo uploads. When I looked at my gallery, I saw two photos that didn’t project the image I wanted out there, including a pot of orange marmalade that looked like something much less appetizing. Check your gallery as soon as you’re done reading this, because reputation management is everything.
A couple more notes, it’s a work in progress and many photos are showing up as blank spaces. Also, if your Facebook feeds your Twitter, those photos don’t show in the gallery. That now means double work for me, but maybe Twitter will fix that in the future.
Overall impression? I’d say that the new gallery feature is worth the time. Now, where is Twitter going to go from here?