Flickr is an online, global photo sharing and management site owned by Yahoo! that allows users to share content and help users organize photos and videos. Tens of millions of people use Flickr from around the world and it is the most popular stand-alone photo sharing site.
Flickr works through RSS and Atom feeds and an API that enables independent programmers to expand its services. The site has a large number of third-party Greasemonkey scripts which enhance and extend its functionality. Users of Windows Live Photo Gallery, Apple's iPhoto and Apple's Aperture can upload photos directly to Flickr.

History

Flickr has been around for seven years. In that time, the cite has grown larger every year.
  • Created by Ludicorp in 2004
  • Emerged out of tools originally created for Game Neverending, a web-based massively multiplayer online game (MMOG)
  • Acquired by Yahoo! in 2005 for $35M
  • Hosted more than 5 billion images by Sept 2010


Partners & Collaborators

Flickr partners with several organizations to create and disseminate images and videos.


Two Types of Accounts: Free and Pro

Flickr offers two levels of accounts. The accounts have the same functionality; the biggest difference between the two levels is the amount of space for photo and video uploads.

Free: for hobbiests

  • 300 MB of images a month
  • 2 videos
  • Only most recent 200 pics can be viewed
  • Maximum 10 photo pools
  • Inactive accounts +90 days can be deleted

Pro: for professionals

  • Unlimited picture uploads
  • Unlimited video upgrades
  • Up to 60 group pools
  • Ad-free browsing
  • Accounts stats


Censorship

Flickr has come under fire for some of its censoring activities.
  • Implemented a user-side rating system for filtering out potentially "controversial" photos
  • German users protest
  • Blocked in China in advance of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
  • Took down Egyptian protester photos: See CPJ Online


Tool of the Man?

Flickr is utilized by countless government organizations in order to share photos.

Flickr Community

People who use Flickr have created blogs like code.flickr or blog.flickr.net that provide support for users of all levels.
Flickr also uses other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

"Exploring" Flickr

Flickr allows users to explore the Flickr site and photos, that are visable to everyone, without being signed into Flickr, or even having a Flickr account. There are several aspects of the Flickr exploring site. Flickr categorizes them into six different groups:
  • Current events
  • Galleries
  • Places
  • The Commons
  • Groups
  • Blogs

Blogging

Flickr is compatable with several bloggins sites. This compatability allows users to place individule photos on the blog, or stream them through a slideshow. According to the Flickr site, they are compatable with these blogging sites:
  • Atom Enabled Blogs
  • Blogger *
  • LiveJournal
  • Manila
  • Meta Weblog API Enabled Blogs
  • Movable Type*
  • Typepad
  • Vox
  • WordPress

Purchasing your photos vs. Getty Images

Flickr allows you to not only upload photos to be shared with an online community, but within a few quick clicks, Flickr gives you options to purchase your entire set, or selected photos. Flickr also uses a program called Getty Images, which allows buisnesses to purchase images that people place onto the market site and use them as stock photography. The site determines the price of the photos by asking specific questions, such as geographical location the photo will be used and media the photo will be used for.

Upload

There are several options to upload your photos onto Flickr. The site allows you to use the actual website, allows you to download a "simple uploader", allows you to email your photos or send the photos through your phone, and also allows you to use thrid party photography programs, such as aperture and iphoto.

Tagging and Geo-Tagging

Tagging allows users to share photos and search for relevant photos with ease. The tagging system is similar to one used for a search engine, except instead of being introduced to all types of media, the search allows users to see photos with that specific tag. However, tagging does not seem to be the main way users find photos. When conducting a search, user get the option to search by tags only or by whole text. When searching by tags only, the amount of pictures found in the search were significantly less than the search with whole text, which not too much difference between findings. The whole text photos were still related and accurate to the searched term.
Geo-tagging allows users to site where the photo was taken, allowing users to search a certain geographical location and see photos taken there and what the landscape, or city, looks like.