Iconfactory missed the point

The other day, I sent the following e-mail to support about Twitterrific 2.0 for iPhone:

I seem to recall this bug in Twitterrific 1.x for iPhone, and then it was fixed, and now it’s back in 2.0. When I post a photo to TwitPic, the accompanying tweet text needs to become the caption, and it currently does not.

Today, I received the following response:

This is actually intentional. In order to set the caption with your tweet text, the tweet has to go through the photo posting service rather than through Twitter. However, we’ve found that many of the photo posting services fail regularly – if this happened when you were posting a photo, this would cause your tweet not to appear on Twitter at all. So to make sure your tweet reaches Twitter we send it directly there rather than through the photo service. So while this doesn’t let you set the caption, it does give your tweet a better chance of reaching Twitter.

Please, someone tell me which one of us is crazy—me or the person who answered the support e-mail. Of course the text would not make it to Twitter if the photo upload failed! When someone uploads a photo to a service like TwitPic, pretty much the entire point of the Twitter post is to notify followers about the new picture. If the picture somehow fails to upload, the Tweet would be pointless because it would reference a picture that no one would be able to see.

Dear Iconfactory, please restore the the behavior of a corresponding Twitter post becoming the caption for a TwitPic upload (and any other photo service, where applicable).

5 Responses

  1. RanMan says:

    Lee, that’s funny and would constitute a big FAIL! I believe this what Clark Howard refers to as “customer no-service”. Are you going to post your reply, or is it/will it be safe for public viewing? :)

  2. Lee Bennett says:

    My reply wasn’t entirely dissimilar to what I typed in this blog entry, after the support response. Although I may have added something to the effect of their response being akin to a car dealer saying, “We’ve learned that some buyers leave their window down when it rains and they’re getting wet. So to keep our customers dry, we’re making the windows not roll down any more.”

  3. RanMan says:

    Nice, perfect analogy.

  4. Lee, we have never supported the uploading of tweets to TwitPic or any other service. We only upload photos and then link to them.

    The scenario we’re trying to avoid is this:

    1) You upload your photo and text to TwitPic.
    2) TwitPic has an error and doesn’t forward your tweet to Twitter.
    3) You and your followers never see the tweet or the picture in your timeline.

    The root of the problem is that step #2 happens A LOT.

    Our long term goal is to change how posting text to the photo service works — we’d like to send them the text AFTER we know that the photo was successfully uploaded AND the tweet was posted to Twitter.

    -ch

  5. Lee Bennett says:

    Craig – thanks for your answer. I acknowledge that there’s probably a lot of frustration that TwitPic uploads frequently error out. That part was never in dispute. The point of contention I had, according to my understanding, is that, by handling it the way Twitterrific currently does, the tweet would appear, sans TwitPic URL. This means that a tweet could appear on my timeline such as, “Have a look at this weird guy I saw on the street,” but there’d be no picture to go along with it. Yes, it would be fantastic if the picture sites, like TwitPic would collaborate with Twitter clients such as yours to send the text after the fact. For the present, however, which is the lesser of two evils? Your feeling seems to be that it’s better to only have one of the two halves (the picture) fail, whereas I, and others I’ve chatted to, feel like the two–the tweet and the picture–make up a whole and one shouldn’t appear without the other.

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