When you want to share an image on Twitter, over IM, or in the comments of your favourite blog, full-fledged gallery webapps like Flickr or Picasa are overkill. That's where these quick image sharing services come in, filling your need for quick, almost disposable image sharing. Here's a look at five of the most popular services for quickly and easily sharing images on the web.Photo by Ed Castillo
If you're already using the popular file-syncing application Dropbox, you can simply drop any image into your public folder, grab the public link (which you can do from the right-click context menu), and share. While it's not strictly for image sharing, Dropbox certainly does the trick. Dropbox has mobile apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry, and easy-to-access folders on your Mac or PC.
CloudApp was designed to be the quickest possible way to share images (and other files) with others. While CloudApp is Mac only, its Windows counterpart, FluffyApp, brings the same features to Windows. Drag and drop an image to the CloudApp icon in your menu bar, or on Windows, to FluffyApp in your system tray, and the file is instantly uploaded, and the short URL to that image gets copied to your clipboard, ready for sharing. Plus, you can make the files you share as private or as public as you choose, so it's another great app to share images that also does much more.
ImageShack is probably the quintessential image sharing site and service on the web. It started as a way to quickly post images to the Web and send links to friends, and has since grown into a service complete with video hosting, an iOS app, and a very popular mobile image hosting service (complete with short URLs) called yfrog. yfrog is almost universally supported among Twitter clients, and is almost as popular as TwitPic was before the TOS change.
Imgur's star has risen in the past few years because it provides a clean, free and open alternative to other services like ImageShack and Photobucket. Uploading from your desktop is easy, as is re-sharing an image already on the Web elsewhere. Imgur has Firefox and Chrome extensions, a Wordpress plugin, even a image uploaders for Mac, Windows and Linux. Plus, each image tracks views and allows for comments from the community, which is a plus and a minus depending on your perspective.
Drag and drop your images, music, or video onto your browser window at min.us, and they'll be instantly uploaded. Sign-ups are as easy as filling in two or three fields. For a service as new as min.us is, it's taking the right approach to simple and quick image sharing. There are browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, desktop uploaders for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and mobile uploaders for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7. If you want a service with a short URL and not a lot of traffic, Min.us is worth a try.
This week's honorable mentions to go PicPlz and TinyPic, two other excellent services with a lot of fans. PicPlz combines social image sharing and tons of great filter effects for your photos with quick uploads and mobile apps for iOS and Android. TinyPic is a bit more bare-bones, but it has support for mobile uploads in a number of services, including Twitter apps – partially because it was born from PhotoBucket.
Did we leave out your favorite? Have one that you think everyone should try? Let's hear it in the comments.