Twitter has been at the top of the news cycle since Elon Musk bought the company for $44 billion. The mere mention of his name evokes a range of emotions, political opinions, and other reactions, but for the sake of this article, it’s not the political ramifications of his acquisition of Twitter, but the fact that it is. I want to focus on what kind of impact it has. us as photographers. In fact, I’m very interested in some of the changes to the platform he proposed and how they affect photographers and content creators, especially if the changes are positive.
2022 has proven to be a strange year for photographers when it comes to using social media to grow their brands and share their work. Earlier this year, Instagram famously tweaked its algorithm. This suppressed still images over video. This was a transparent attempt to compete with his TikTok by enhancing the video content on the platform and was harshly rejected by users, especially photographers. And after much backlash from both well-known and obscure photographers, they pulled back, but eventually changed their algorithm again, claiming to treat photos and videos equally, I can anecdotally tell you that my photos still don’t have the same reach as they did in the original before the change. However, this is a topic for another article.
Then came Vero. The app has been around for quite a few years, but it never really caught on with photographers. Like many others, I opened a Vero account with the intention of migrating content to a new platform as my primary photo-sharing vehicle, and was again disappointed. It’s a solid application with a slick interface, but it tries too hard to be “anti-Instagram” and doesn’t seem to have a niche. Personally, I don’t post or update as much on Vero as I do on Instagram. Moreover, Vero still doesn’t have enough users to replace Instagram.
If you’re a photographer as well as a content creator, you may also know that YouTube is working hard to jump on the TikTok bandwagon and promote “shorts.” This means that creators like me have a strong desire to make full length video previews or brand new content, his 30 or 60 second videos. The problem with this is that many shorts draw attention to the channel based on silly jokes and other contrived ways. I do some of these myself on YouTube and Instagram, but I honestly don’t want to because I feel like I lack substance for clicks. For example, he made a short gag that joked about how he forgot to put the removable battery cover inside her grip before attaching it to the camera. This short clip got him over 3,000 views in the first few hours of its release. This far exceeds my typical engagement for long-form videos.
In summary, I’m not the only one who’s a little disappointed with all three of these apps as a way to share your photography creations and grow your business. This is why Twitter is poised to become the go-to app for photographers and content creators alike. Musk said paying users will get “prioritized in replies, mentions, searches… the ability to post long videos and audios.”
Musk recently came up with the idea of creating an $8/month Twitter subscription. His proposal includes a number of features, including more robust search, replies, and mentions that don’t favor the blue checkmark crowd. But the main feature that piqued my interest is the ability to post long-form videos.
Although the term is overused to the point of nonsense, posting long-form videos on Twitter is not only reinvigorating the platform, but also a viable alternative to YouTube and Instagram for photographers and content. It can be the “game changer” you need to make it a means. Creator. With many photographers already posting their work on Twitter and most major photography companies already having Twitter accounts, Twitter has the full potential of what YouTube and Instagram have to offer photographers. And I think there is great potential to reinvigorate both still image and video content as one. – Stop creative shop.
Additionally, in response to Zuby Music’s tweet, which suggested that Twitter partner with content creators to allow monetization, like other social media sites, Musk replied, “Absolutely.” By collaborating with creators on long-form videos and tweaking the interface to address where other apps fall short, Twitter could become our favorite app in the photography industry.
Clearly, there is quite a bit to discuss here. Most of us know Musk is famous for posting lots of ideas on his Twitter and trolling accounts almost daily. That said, if Musk was asked two months ago if he really thought he would buy Twitter, he would have replied, “No way.” But here we are.
The elephant in the room is related to Musk’s politics, which has had a polarizing effect on many users, some of whom are beginning to abandon Twitter altogether, even in its early stages. There is also We understand how difficult it is to separate politics from the networking site itself. This is definitely part of the discussion about the future of Twitter for photographers, content creators and us creatives. Will Musk’s political leanings prevent potential users from embracing the platform, even if it makes it easier for photographers and content creators to use? Or has Twitter already become too toxic to run again? Time will tell, but I’d love to hear what you all think about the future of Twitter as an alternative for photographers in the comments section below.
Lead image by Flikr user Steve Jurvetson, used under Creative Commons.