Home TwitAlbums: Private, Collaborative Content Sharing Via Twitter

TwitAlbums: Private, Collaborative Content Sharing Via Twitter

Have you ever wanted to share a set of memories with some of your Twitter friends, keeping the content private while still allowing for collaboration between certain folks?

It’s not anything we thought we wanted, either, but after playing with TwitAlbums, we find the concept charming. Here’s how it works: Using Twitter’s OAuth function, users log in and create collections or “albums” containing multimedia content and text comments. They can invite whatever users they like to join them in adding files, and only the users they invite can see the content or comments. Best of all it looks like this little app already has a monetization strategy in place.

The concept is inherently charming. Users create an album with a single click. They can then proceed to upload movies, pictures and audio files. We’d like to see options for adding more file types, such as web pages, text files and more.

Users can then choose others to collaborate with them on the album. A tweet is sent inviting the collaborators to the album, and they are prompted to sign in via OAuth when they click the tweet in the link. This immediate request for account access without an explanation of the app might be a bit disconcerting for some, however. If an uninvited Twitter user clicks the link, they are given an “invite only” notice and denied access to the content.

Collaborators can add content, leave comments and invite other users, depending on the permissions set by the original album creator.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that the app’s creators have built in a mechanism for modest financial returns. Each uploaded file costs the user a single onsite credit, called a TwitSeed. Accounts come with 50 TwitSeeds, and more can be purchased in bundles of 100 for $1, 500 for $4, or 1000 for $8.

One thing we don’t like is that the app pushes a ton of link- and hashtag-studded notifications into the user’s Twitter stream. As with other apps that gain access via OAuth, from the infamous Spymaster to the successful TinyChat, this is a very fine line that most users would appreciate the app not cross.

Generally speaking, users won’t have a problem with a single tweet or two, but a constant stream of app-related messages when the user is active on the site can only end badly. Worst of all, we don’t see a way to opt out of these notifications, so we’ve had to delete these tweets manually, which does nothing to mitigate the swarm of updates for our friends using Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck. Particularly since the content is set up to be private, it doesn’t make sense to broadcast tweets about each user’s on-site activity.

We think this app would work well for younger users, social media addicts and long-distance friends, especially if the above-mentioned issues are addressed. What do you folks think so far; does TwitAlbums have what it takes to become a widely used Twitter application? Would you use it, and what would you use it for? Let us know in the comments.

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