Twitxr: Instant Photo Blogging Done Right

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I have never been a fan of photo blogging, but I have a feeling that Twitxr might do to me what Tumblr did for personal blogging. The service, which launched just a couple days ago, is a dead simple way to send location updates with a picture and some text. It’s Twitter for photos (or Twitter + photos), you could say.

The way that the service works is that after signing up, you are given a profile page a la Twitter and Pownce. Here’s mine. You can now, using various ways, post updates to your page that will go out to all your followers (and vice-versa, you can follow others.) Like Twitter, the service includes a Public Timeline and a Friends Map to track updates from the community and also equips each user with an RSS feed (with location geo-coded if specified.)

Your update can contain a Location, a message (under 140 chars), and upload a picture  — as far as I can tell, with no restrictions. Currently, they support posting via the web interface and by e-mail, to a random/personal/private address that is given to you upon signup.

By far there are two strikingly cool things about Twitxr that make it stand out from the “today’s product launches” crowd.  Firstly, a nice easteregg when posting a update is that once you specify a location to Twitxr, it is automatically mapped on Google Maps and adjustable to the exact pin-point (which Twitxr then uses to specify the geo-coordinates) — functionality that’s fairly obvious and which I surprisingly haven’t seen implemented elsewhere.

Secondly, unlike many other services that seek to replace its competitor, Twitxr complements its competitor, Twitter. You can link up your Twitter account through a gateway (under profile settings), and then updates are sent out to your followers on both the services. This way, you can use Twitxr to post your location/photo updates and keep your Twitter followers updated, while taking part in Twitxr’s own little community of people that use it for that single purpose. Or alternatively, you could just use Twitxr to post instant photo/location updates to your Twitter followers and ignore the standalone service.

The service is undoubtedly not another new member of the “launch and go away” category, and adds a lot of usefulness and value to existing Twitter users and beyond. Only a day or so after launch, and it already has many of the top Twitter users signed up and hundreds posting updates. I think this is one to stay — and its future lies in building a loyal community and userbase. Possible future Twitter buyout? Let’s see.


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