Back to Flickr

Now that a big group of people I know have been energized by the resurgence of Flickr I am noticing something. Flickr was built well before the rise if the more “modern” social sites and lacks at least a few of the features that we’ve all come to expect. The one most glaring omission is the lack of a “like” button. Flickr asks us to not like a photo, but instead mark it as a favorite. I never really used that much, reserving it for truly favorite photos. It seemed like that was the case for a lot people. Now that we’ve bounced back to Flickr I am getting “favs” all the time. It seems to me that the feature sets of Instagram and Facebook has altered the way we use an older platform. It has made Flickr much more social and I like that.


7 thoughts on “Back to Flickr

  1. I have used the “favorites” feature to gather images from around Flickr I want to use later, for example, in a presentation. It is a nice curation tool. I think of that differently than I do a “like” on FB, which is really low stakes because all my likes are not gathered together in a searchable set or list. (The +1 button on G+ is interesting in this regard: when you +1 a post when you are out on the web, G+ populates your +1 tab in your profile, but if you +1 from inside G+, it acts more like FB, without adding it to that list. I wish it would be consistent.)

    Another glaring omission from the Flickr site itself, which I think too is in need of a serious update, is that you can’t easily share our to FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I would like them to add that feature to the site. (The new app does a great job with this as it allows you to share things out to different twitter accounts very easily.)

    As I consider embarking on another picture a day project for 2013, for my 2011 project visit Flickr, I plan to use the Flickr app to curate the photos, so we’ll see how that goes.

    Thanks, as usual, for helping think through the ever changing social web.

  2. Hi, Chris! Yes, I have also used the Favorite feature to find and manage photos that I want to use in a presentation or project. There are so many killer features of flickr that get lost in the newer apps — the ability to search for various flavors of creative commons is a major win. I do wonder if they will work to integrate some newer features into the existing service or if we will evolve the current ones — if you remember the very early days of twitter, users started many of the ideas that made twitter what it is today. Things like the @ and # were things we as users did that they adopted. It will be interesting to see if flickr forces us to adjust the meaning we have for their service or if they will adopt new features.

    As far as sharing, on my individual photo pages on flickr I can share to any and all my services … as a matter of fact, I often blog a photo from flickr directly to this site without using wordpress at all — I just share it from flickr. Do you have sharing buttons like the ones seen here …

    Sharing from Flickr

    • Ah yes, I have those, although I have usually used them to share directly to my blog. I don’t know why I didn’t think to just share to FB and Twitter that way. (That is an example of getting too set in old ways to notice other important things!)

  3. To repeat, “Likes are cheap” – yes they are easy to do, but frankly, all that FB and InstaSham liking to me never amount to much in value.

    Here is how you “Like” something in flickr.

    You write a comment and say “I like your photo”

    Then you expand and actually say something constructive and useful.

    Flip it around. I’d rather tale 5 comments that have some thought behind them than 500 effortless likes.

    Please at all costs do not Facebookize Flickr.

  4. Having an easy way to say, “hey I looked at your picture and it was nice” isn’t facebookizing flickr. All it does is give people an easy way to acknowledge a posting. I don’t always want to leave a full comment — and sometimes I am on my mobile and just want to let someone know I liked what they posted. In the example (from the screenshot above) you can see I added the photo as a favorite and left a comment. My real question relates to more of how people will push the current feature set of flickr to bend to meet existing expectations — will the favorite be the flickr like?

  5. Agree to disagree. If its easy to register a reaction to a photo, to me it still does not say nearly as much as a comment.

    The idea that flickr should “bend to meet existing expectations” is suspect to me- why should it?

    Did not Apple become what it is by asserting via design what features we got rather than “existing expectations”? That is not innovating, it is following.

    But I can see favorites being the same thing. The level of effort and process is the same. It just is a different name.

    What if I expressed myself here by “don’t like?” I think the “Like” culture is frankly a bit lazy and I refuse to pander to it.

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