Watermarking photos for Twitter success

May 27, 2015

Have you ever faced the challenge of squeezing a complicated tweet into 140 characters? And then if you add a photo or visual, it takes up even more space and you find yourself without enough room to credit the photographer appropriately, while also giving context to the link. Twitter’s unique character limit is great in many ways as it forces you to get creative and edit down to the core of your message. But one of the consequences of this cap is that the photographers who take the images often lose credit for their work, as many people end up leaving it off altogether. Or even if you do give credit, the photo could be removed from the tweet and sent out again, and the source of the image is then lost.

The New York Times’ social media desk recently contributed an article about this issue, as they hold themselves to a high standard of journalism and it is required that they credit photographers before posting to Twitter. In order to save space, they ended up watermarking the images with the photographer and any other relevant information.

Due to the incredible amount of content The New York Times puts out, individually watermarking each image proved to be inefficient, so they developed a custom tool to help streamline the process. Most organizations don’t have a team of developers to do this, but there are many free gadgets out there on the web that make watermarking easy. PicMonkey is a particularly useful tool and they’ve written an article  detailing how to do it in just a few steps.

Here’s an example of a good way to watermark your photos using PicMonkey. We pulled this image off flickr where the photographer had already added his own watermark on the right. To give further attribution we provided the location of his work on the left hand side. You can easily add logos, URL’s, a call to action, and custom text at whatever opacity you need.

Do you have any favorite ways to watermark images? Please let us know in the comments section below!

–Alexandra Gunnoe, Program Specialist