You might recall that a couple weeks ago I wrote about creating my own photo sharing capability which allows me to maintain control and full access to any pictures I share socially. I created that ability because reliability with third party picture sharing services which use Twitter had started becoming very inconsistent. I am not sure if that reliability is the fault of the third party services or Twitter but if you saw the report yesterday about picture sharing services on Twitter their pic.twitter service is the top method Twitter users are utilizing to share pictures on the social media site (36.1%). TwitPic is second with 30.3% then Yfrog (21.1%) and Instagram (12.5%). Honestly, it should be no surprise that their in house solution has topped the third party ones but that is not the intended subject for this post. That in fact could be why those other services are starting to become unreliable.
I have used TwitPic as my primary photo sharing service since the beginning of August 2008 – that is over three years and 1,124 photos ago. I beta tested TwitPic as well and so have been a very loyal and happy user over the last few years – except for the last few months as service and reliability as gone downhill.
So I built my own method of sharing my pictures just like I did with my own URL shortening service earlier this year.
I made the move to leave all of my photos on TwitPic and keep the account there in case I needed to reference something or grab an odd picture to download. TwitPic has no method for exporting those photos off the site so I did not have much choice – until now.
A couple of days ago I was watching my Twitter stream when I saw a tweet that mentioned @stevenbullen and a service that someone used to export their TwitPic photos. The tweeted link took me to http://export-twitpic.stevenbullen.com/
As you can see in the screenshot above the service supports several photo sites to import your exported TwitPics into and will even let you just download your pictures into a zipped file for local storage – it even grabs details about the photos such as comments, captions, etc. All of those details get exported to the new hosting site as well. Steven said it was key to make sure people kept as much information as possible when exporting their images.
I used the service to export my TwitPic photos to flickr and they now reside in my collections there. The export even allowed me to name a Set ID for them as I prepared for the import process. The service is also very robust – my exporting got interrupted a few times with the browser getting closed by accident or the PC going into sleep mode yet a simple refresh of the site allowed the process to continue.
I contacted Steven via Twitter to ask why he created such a service and he told me “I wanted to remove my pictures from TwitPic after they changed their Terms and Conditions.” He also said that the more he tweeted about the work the more people were asking for additional export options for their pictures which he was happy to accommodate.
Currently the service has exported over 162,000 TwitPics (updated as I prepared this posting) since 06 June 2011 and Steven says he has upgraded his server and can implement a queuing system if necessary to handle future traffic.