How to Attach Photos to Your Twitter Posts

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then maybe a TwitPic is worth 140 characters. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two. With TwitPic you can do both.

someone taking a photo of a baby with an iphone

Here’s the scene. You are on vacation. You are nestled in the mountains and witness a glorious sunset. Sure, you could describe it in 140 characters or less. Or you could snap a picture of the scene, email it to TwitPic with a brief message, and have both posted on Twitter in minutes.

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your cell phone has a camera. If it doesn’t, you can still post pictures, but it won’t nearly as easy or spontaneous.
  2. Sign up for a free TwitPic account. It will take you less than two minutes. You just enter your Twitter username and password. When you do, TwitPic will give you a unique TwitPic email address that you will use.
  3. Create a new entry in your cell phone address book called, “TwitPic.” Enter your new TwitPic email address in the appropriate field. Save the new address. Now the fun begins.
  4. Take a photo with your cell phone. It can be of anything. A beautiful scene, the food you are eating, the people you are with … whatever.
  5. Email the photo as an attachment to TwitPic. Since you already entered this into your address book, your unique TwitPic address is already assigned to it.
  6. Enter any text you want to accompany the picture in the subject line of the email message. Don’t bother entering text in the body of the message. TwitPic will ignore it. Keep your message brief. You only have about 110 characters, since TwitPic will need to include an abbreviated link to the actual picture.
  7. Send the email. But you will need to be patient. Depending on what else is happening on the Web, it may take a few minutes—sometimes several minutes—for TwitPic to post the picture and send your tweet with the link.

That’s all there is to it. If everything has gone as planned, your followers will see a message like the following:

a sample tweet generated by twitpic

When they click on the embedded link, they will see the actual picture:

TwitPic Screenshot

TwitPic is a great and simple way to enhance your tweets. It’s the next best thing to being there.

Question: Have you used TwitPic? How do you like it?
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  • conradtheart

    What would I do without you Michael? Haha. Thanks.

  • Jeff_Grosse

    If you Tweet from your mobile device, check to see if they integrate to TwitPic. For example, I use Tweetie on the iPhone and I can pick any photo I've already taken or take one right then and put my text and the picture, right in the Tweet. I find this very simple too.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, most of the iPhone Twitter application have this built in. If so, it is even simpler than what I described — though it can take some effort to get set up.

  • Scott M.

    Twitpic is nice, but I prefer Skitch or Flickr. Both have email addresses that you can send an image to that will post automagically to Twitter. Skitch has built in Twitter integration. With Flickr, you'll have to set up a Twitterfeed account, but it's nice to post to your main Flickr account and Twitter simultaneously.

    BTW, Skitch is *really* pretty, too.

  • PFNikolai

    When I entered my Twitter username and password it seemed like nothing happened and that I just went back to their home page. I discovered by clicking on Settings that my account was set up, and I was able to obtain the unique email address that I am to use.

    Facebook offers a similar system for uploading photos from your camera phone to your Facebook account.

    How will Twitter, TwitPic, etc. monetize these services?

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are asking the $64,000 question. (Or in this economy, maybe it's the $64 billion question.) Personally, I think Twitter should follow the Twitteriffic business model. They insert ads into everyone's feed every 10 tweets or so. If you don't want the ads, then you can subscribe to a premium service that is a nominal monthly amount.

      • Scott M.

        I'm curious how that might work, though. If other apps are also inserting ads, then the ads could get overwhelming in a hurry.

        Another great option might be to sell premium tweet-blasts. Similar to an ad, but the advertiser pays per single tweet that's blasted to every twitter user. If I had the money, I'd pay $10k for a tweet that gets read by 2 million people. Of course, these would need to be seldom, tasteful, and relevant.

        Either way, Twitter has said that they have $50million+ in the bank and that they're not trying to monetize anytime soon.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are asking the $64,000 question. (Or in this economy, maybe it's the $64 billion question.) Personally, I think Twitter should follow the Twitteriffic business model. They insert ads into everyone's feed every 10 tweets or so. If you don't want the ads, then you can subscribe to a premium service that is a nominal monthly amount.

  • Scott M.

    Yup. It uses an account-specific email such as "" to post to both. Great for desktop screenshots AND on-the-go photos.

  • Mike

    Very helpful. Thank you.

  • John_Gallagher

    Mike, Thanks for this tip. It worked out for me.

  • Nathan_Kilgore

    i'm twittering now because of you – and i'm also making my own domain name that will soon be up and running.

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  • mathew

    Thanks.Mike.I just learned how to use it.:)

  • ManhattanNY

    Yes.Great info.I can acctach photo with twitter posts now.Thank you very much.

  • Essay

    Aha,I just learned it.thanks.

  • Fathers Day Ideas

    Good article.Learn more from it.

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  • felicia

    I have my pic on my account, but how I set it as my pic? Can I do this from my phone??

  • wendyhagen

    thank you. bert decker sent your link to me. I just got started with twitter last night. I final got sucked into the vortex.

  • Fhalexander

    You can also just use TweetDeck (free for iPhone). There you enter your tweet like normal and just hit the Photo button. It asks if you'd like to use an existing photo or take a new one. I typically take the picture before because trying to take it through the application really makes everything run slowly.

    This takes it from a 7 step process to 4 –

    1) Take Picture
    2) Open Tweet Deck
    3) Write Tweet
    4) Select Picture through TweetDeck interface
    5) Send

    So I guess it's five, but it's the same process as regularly tweeting, which is why I like it so much…

  • http://@Arphetamxixs Arphetamxixs

    TwitPict is another option for iPhone. -AQP

    • Arphetamxixs

      Sorry about the link screw-up there. ^^^

  • Amy Cella

    i just went from not knowing how to tweet a photo to tweeting a photo in less than 5 mins. thank you mike!

  • Owen

    Here is another contender I found this morning for twitting, URL shortening and blogging with email.

  • Kyle Reed

    I personally do not use twitpic for two reasons:
    1) The Ads
    2) Doesn’t tie back to your personal blog or website

    I am a big fan of posterous. Mainly because it can then turn as a media place for pics as well as videos and still gives you a place to have an online identity. I have and use it through posterous to post pics from twitter and videos.

    Also, I have noticed that a lot of suggestive adds are on most of these sights that people upload pics from twitter to. Porn spam use to be a big deal for most people on twitter, I think this is another version of it. Someone who sends all of their users to a picture could unintentionally send them to an advertisement that they probably would never put on their blog.

    And posterous is free.

  • adie

    I just had something happen that was really embarrassing. I took a pic from my phone, uploaded it and shared it with twitter which also shares it to my facebook…10 minutes later i had friends calling me saying "you better check your tweet"…I did and when i clicked on the link it took me a porn site! this boggles my mind, how does this happen? i tweet regularly from my phone and add photos to almost every post…now i am afraid to…have I been somehow hacked?

    thanks for any attention to this


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  • Dawn

    I’d like to add an easier way, only available in the UK at the moment, and only just launching.  If you’re signed up to then you can just take your pic and MMS it into twitpic. Then out it pops into the twitterverse

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been using twitpic since I joined twitter…it easy and super convenient. 

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  • Perry Christina81

    I’m still having trouble with downloading my pics from my phone. Could u please walk me step by step…Thanks Mike

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I can’t. I would suggest checking with Apple. Thanks.

  • Julie H. Ferguson

    What about Android phones? What’s your advice for them?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don’t use an Android phone, so I’m afraid I don’t have any advice. Perhaps someone else will jump in here.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Julie, I use Peep to post pictures from my Android from to Twitter. It will not caption the picture but you can enter text for the Tweet.

  • Ronnie Holbert

    Thanks for sharing. I couldn’t find a email that was dedicated to me though. Still app.

  • Paradigmvcg

    I have been told that TwitPic keeps your photos and that they then own the copyright. I don’t know if this is true because I don’t do this yet. Can you confirm or deny this?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know.

  • forever2011JKS祝20週年

    I’ve seen many people twit more than one pic with one twit,how can they achieve this?