Watch out TwitPic, Flickr is finally waking up to the power of letting users share links to their photos over Twitter . Flickr members can now sign up for the Flickr Twitter Beta, which allows them to link their Flickr and Twitter accounts (using Oauth) to their send out a Tweet whenever they upload a new photo via email. Here is an example from a Twitter employee (see screenshot), which then links to this photo on Flickr.
This only works for email uploads right now. Flickr gives you a special @photos.flickr.com email address which allows you to email photos directly into your Flickr stream from your mobile phone or desktop email. If you want to Tweet out a photo, you simply add “2twitter” at the end of your special email address before the @ sign. It is a bit kludgy. (Why not just add it as a feature to a mobile Flickr app instead?) But once you set it up, it is pretty easy. I just tried it myself. There is nothing like Tweeting out a photo to get an instant response.
This is just a taste of where Flickr might be going. Right now, you can’t choose to Tweet out photos you upload directly to the Website (yet). But the beta test points in that direction. Flickr is using its own shortened URL (http://flic.kr). And it is letting users choose which photos to share via Twitter instead of automatically sharing all uploaded photos, which is the right way to do it.
(Hat tip to Ouriel, who has a more complicated way to do the same thing via Twitterfeed).