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5. Flickr offers easy drag-and-drop tools for uploading photos and organizing them into albums (they’re actually called sets). Uploading photos to Facebook is much more tedious.
6. If you like maps, Flickr can display your geotagged photos on a world map. If you don’t have a camera that automatically geotags your photos, there’s an easy way to assign each image to a location.
7. Flickr lets you store videos of up to three minutes in length at 1080p resolution. Facebook allows longer videos, but limits resolution to 720p.
8. There’s an amazingly welcoming and supportive community of photographers on Flickr. They’ve formed groups around every conceivable subject, from HDR photography to the color orange.
9. Through a partnership with Aviary, Flickr provides a range of basic photo-editing tools, including the all-important redeye reduction. Facebook offers no photo editing tools.
10. Lots of other people have built apps and services that interact with Flickr—for example, if you use iPhoto on your Mac, you can upload photos straight to Flickr. This is also true for Facebook; the point is that you don’t lose anything by switching to Flickr.
11. In case you missed it before: a terabyte of free storage. (“Pro” subscribers who formerly paid $25 a year for unlimited storage get grandfathered in.) The upshot is that you can use Flickr as a backup location for all of your photos, not just the ones you want to show off.
12. (Bonus reason) The Flickr mobile apps for iOS and Android are really quite good, allowing you to browse, manage, and snap and upload photos directly from your smartphone. The iOS version comes with about 15 free Hipstamatic-style filters.
Flickr isn’t perfect yet. If you have a lot of photo sets, it’s hard to organize them for easy browsing and searching. It’s ridiculously difficult to order photo prints from the site—you have to specify the number and size of the prints you want one image at a time, then export the photos to Snapfish. There’s no official Flickr app for the iPad or Android or Windows tablets (though there are some decent third-party apps that work with Flickr—my favorite is called Flickr Studio).
Moreover, the recent changes to Flickr’s design have left many users, especially pro photographers, unhappy—for example, the technical “EXIF” data about each image is now buried a couple levels deeper. And there are folks like Mok Oh, founder of Moju Labs, who argue that the whole idea of the online photo album is obsolete, and that the next generation of photo organizing tools needs to be far more automated and personalized.
But overall, Flickr has made an amazing comeback. My fears back in 2011 that I might have to lug my 16,000 Flickr photos over to Google+ or some other service turned out to be unjustified. I’m thrilled with the recent redesign and hopeful that Mayer can get Yahoo back on solid ground, the better to support Flickr—which, to me personally, is the single most interesting and valuable product in the whole Yahoo lineup.
Facebook wants to be the catch-all location for everything you share digitally. But like all omnibus solutions, it comes with compromises. A great photo is a terrible thing to waste—so consider putting your photos on Flickr instead.
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