The new Flickr – Is it Better and Brighter?

The new Flickr – Is it Better and Brighter?

I’ve been on Flickr since 2005 and when I got on this morning, there was this new-look Flickr greeting me with lots of big, bold pictures, colour and a bit of a fanfare announcing the arrival of a “better and brighter” Flickr.

Well, is it better and brighter?

The new Flickr

More space (for free accounts)

Flickr now gives all users a free terabyte of space, so that you can upload more pictures, or higher resolution ones, or use Flickr as a kind of online backup system (1 terabyte can hold a lot of high res images). Not bad. But what about the “Pro” users who have paid for their monthly/annual subscription? Will they get more space on the Flickr drive?

Woo hoo! High res uploads!

The beauty of more storage is that you can now upload high resolution images to Flickr and have them displayed in all their glory. But if you do – a word of caution: please make sure you make use of Flickr’s built-in image security such as the prevention of your images from being downloaded by anybody and everybody. Go on any photographic social networking site and you’ll find a discussion about how rife image theft is these days. If you’re uploading high res images to Flickr, make sure you clamp down on download access to this image or you might suddenly find your images used here and there without your permission.

The eye-popping new design

I must admit that the initial layout did grab my attention. But then it quickly became a bit of a visual overload as my eyes started wandering haphazardly over images on screen. The classic Flickr, while bland as natural yoghurt, at least allowed you to visually process each image one at a time thanks to its classic (and predictably boring) grid layout structure. The new Flickr makes each image on screen vie for your attention. And after a couple of minutes, it all begins to feel a bit like 500px and Pinterest. I love eye candy, but there’s the boring part of me that yearns for the old, vanilla layout. 🙂

A neater, cleaner Slideshow

The updated Flickr full-screen slideshow is one of the better things to have come out of the upgrade. The interface/design has been tweaked for a cleaner viewing experience.

The verdict

It’s interesting that the new look Flickr comes at a time when vast tracts of its share of the online portfolio / photo sharing market has been lost to the likes of 500px, Red Bubble and Behance. In its hey day, Flickr was an excellent (and perhaps the best) photo sharing system available to photographers of all ilk. There was a real sense of an international community and a lot of interaction, engagement and dialogue there. Even today, Flickr groups are a great repository of information about equipment, photography, post-production and so on. But even that aspect of Flickr has since been replaced by the likes of Google+ Communities and Facebook groups.

Is this an attempt by Flickr to retain, to entice new ones and to make it exciting and relevant to photographers once more? And will this bigger and brighter Flickr work?

Well, if you’re a Flickr user or new to Flickr, why not give it a go? Use it and, love it or hate it, your decision and that of thousands of other photographers will determine its future.

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