Twitter updates make photos, squashing spammers easier

The latest changes to Twitter are simple and unnoticeable at first, but they can make a world of difference for some users.

The latest changes to Twitter are simple and unnoticeable at first, but they can make a world of difference for some users.

Jumping on the bandwagon with Photobucket, Posterous and TwitPic, Flickr now supports the social messaging site. The Flickr2Twitter function lets users tweet their photos directly from Flickr once they've authorized through Twitter.

With a couple button clicks, the service is ready to go, and Flickr even provides an e-mail address for uploading photos on the go. When tweeting photos through Flickr, you first have to upload the photo in the usual way. Then, you can tweet it by selecting the Twitter option under "Blog This." It's not the most intuitive system -- a handy button that wasn't hidden behind another function would've been nice -- but at least it's there. (Click the screen cap to enlarge it.)

Twitter aficionados may be more excited with tweaks to the site's user interface. These aren't drastic changes, but they make it easier to cull spammers and drop friends who used the site for a day and then wandered off.

When viewing your list of followers or followees, their most recent tweets are put on display, speeding the process of determining who is a real person or and who's just a marketing bot. A new drop down menu controls how these users are handled, and you can message them, block them or follow their updates. A list view is also available for users who prefer the old way.

Of course, a spammer not followed is pretty innocuous, so these interface changes are cosmetic, built for people who obsess over how many of their followers are real or fake. And while Flickr functionality is great for Flickr users, it'll go unnoticed by everyone else. Neither tool fundamentally changes what Twitter is, and that's a good thing, business model be damned.

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Jared Newman

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