Twitter image hosting is an essential workflow in today’s twitter-y age. An easy to use image host, that not only uploaded an image, but also allowed you to directly send out the short link as a tweet is compelling for any user. Of course, clients integrated APIs allowing users to drag and drop images right from the desktop. Twitpic probably started it all. Yfrog joined in. Posterous. There’s dozens of them. But only one among them is truly made for us kind of people. Img.ly.
Designed as a pet project by Eray Basar and Stephan Seidt of 9Elements, Img.ly exhibits care in design and interaction with every aspect of the service. Right from the start page to individual image pages to how it renders on the iPhone, every element has been given the care it deserves. Unlike most sites, there’s minimal advertising, mostly involving something for your iPhone.
Before you dismiss it as a beauty without brains, Img.ly is also one of the most feature rich image hosts out there. *Takes deep breath*—it will automatically scout twitter for image captions, you can tag users in images (and they get notified via a mentions_bot), you can embed images in your website along with tagged users, you can leave comments without having to tweet them, and then some. They’ve even got a feed of manually selected images at beautiful.img.ly.
If you aren’t an Img.ly user yet, start right away. Tweetie and a few others support Img.ly posting, and other developers will implement it if you pester them enough. If you’re already a fan of Img.ly, know that the team is working on some new things. Things I can’t speak about. All I can say is “HTML5″. Lastly, here’s the first ever Img.ly pic uploaded, with the two founders in plain view.