Add Photos to Events Automatically with Triggers

Today we launched a new feature to improve our Events system and to make it easier to organize your photos.  This new feature is called an “Event Trigger”.  Basically, it lets you specify a hash tag that, when present in a photo’s tweet, will place that photo in a certain Event.  This makes it very simple to organize your photos on the fly, and from your mobile phone, without having to manually go through all of your photos and add them to events later.

Event Triggers can be added for both new events and events you have already created.  Heres a quick guide for both cases:

Setting a Trigger for New Events

When creating an event, there is now a field below the Description named ‘Trigger’.

Screen shot 2010-07-06 at 2.29.30 PMThe trigger must be a valid Twitter hashtag.  This means it can only be comprised of letters, numbers and underscores.  No spaces, dashes, or other characters are allowed.  The form should only let you type in valid characters, but just in case, we will strip any invalid characters from the hashtag if they somehow make it into the form.

Now that you have an Event Trigger setup, all images uploaded to TwitPic with the hashtag #concert (as shown in the example above) will be automatically placed in the Concerts event.  This includes uploads from the website, 3rd party Twitter clients, and TwitPic Email.

Setting a Trigger for Existing Events

So lets say you already have some events created, but you want to add a Trigger for them.  To do so, navigate to the event page on TwitPic, and then click the small pencil icon on the right side by Event Info.  This will open the Event editor.  There is a new field below Description named ‘Trigger’.  Here, you can specify any valid Twitter hashtag to use as the Event Trigger, as shown below:

Screen shot 2010-07-06 at 2.37.18 PMAgain, the hashtag must be a valid Twitter hashtag so it can only contain letters, numbers and underscores.  After you have entered the Trigger, click Save.  Now any photo uploaded to TwitPic with the hashtag (in this case, #sunset) will be added to this event.

Final Notes

There are a few things that you should know when using Event Triggers:

  1. Only you can use your own Event Triggers.  In other words, everyone must specify their own triggers for their own events.
  2. Your event triggers must be unique among your own Events.  It’s ok if someone else uses the same trigger as you since this does not affect you, but you cannot use the same Trigger twice among your events.
  3. You can put as many Event Triggers in a tweet as you want.  The photo will be added to each Event whose Trigger is put in the tweet.
  4. Triggers are optional.  You do not have to specify a Trigger for every Event you create.

We hope everyone likes this new feature and finds it as useful as we think it will be!