SkyDrive As A Photo Sharing Network

Windows Phone 7 is a great platform. Social has been integrated ground-up. I’m as much a fan of SkyDrive as Windows Phone 7. With Office Live and Mesh, SkyDrive powers my cloud but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There are some technical restrictions the service faces. That aside, Windows Phone 7 and SkyDrive make sweet love together.

For quite some time I’ve been taking random pictures with my Samsung Focus and in many cases want to share them on Twitter and Facebook. WP7 offers ways to do this but I now realize the need for a network like Instagram—it’s for those pics that you want to share with your personal and public network. The filters only make it more fun. For now I use Posterous but the more I use WP7, I’d rather send these photos to SkyDrive and through there to Facebook & Twitter—it makes life easier.

Unfortunately, SkyDrive and WP7 don’t offer that magic as yet. One can send photos to social networks independently but setting up push-to-all isn’t there. Then there are the extra long SkyDrive URLs for photographs, here’s one:

This is what gets sent to Twitter. In the age of short URLs, such a URL should be considered blasphemy. Twitter also has native integration for photo sharing networks like Twitpic, Flickr and Instagram. Since sending pics to twitter uploads them to SkyDrive, Facebook is what remains, which a SkyDrive app (much like Instagram’s can fix); add short URLs and native integration to all of this and Microsoft has their own photo sharing network.

Facebook is expected to add Instagram like filters to their mobile photo sharing experience but that will be exclusive to iOS and Android, at least when the feature launches. (Facebook’s iOS and Android apps are developed by Facebook; WP7 Facebook app is done by Microsoft.) Picasa has become Android’s photo sharing service and iOS has the iCloud. Given these silos, SkyDrive as a social photo sharing experience acts as a backup service too.

To sum all of this up, the SkyDrive team having a short URL for pics shared on Twitter and a deal with Twitter offering native photo viewing would help Microsoft.