Yahoo Redesigns Flickr and Gives Away 1TB of Free Storage

Looks like Yahoo isn’t done yet after the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr. The tech giant has finally made an attempt to make its once popular photo-sharing service Flickr alive again, with the hopes to reboot the service not only in a beautiful manner, but bigger and better than anything else.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Monday took stage to debut the all new redesigned Flickr photo site, including an announcement of 1TB free storage to all its users, which is enough to host nearly 537,731 photos in “full original quality” (6.5 megapixels). The downside, however, is that everyone who opts for the free storage will be seeing ads.

Flickr is now a whole new experience. The redesigned Photostreams and Sets layout is cleaned up to display the pictures in a proper grid fashion. Along with that, it is now easier to share photos on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, email, and of course, Tumblr.

The new layout also has a cover photo just like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, where users can edit it and replace the default picture with any of their existing uploaded photos. The photos are displayed in a grid format, where users can open them in a new page or simply mouse hover the cursor and click on the double-arrowed button to open in lightbox.

Flickr Photostream before

Flickr Old

Flickr Photostream after

Flickr New

The Explore option, which is quite a known feature on Flickr, has been added to the navigation bar, which shows off the most popular uploaded images on a day-to-day basis. There is also a little slideshow button on the second navigation bar, which on clicked will switch to full-screen mode and you can navigate through the photos.

The redesign also comes to mobile devices on iOS and Android. On the other hand, Flickr Pro is no longer supported on the site as many of the features have been integrated with the free account. To quote Marissa Mayer’s words, she says “there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, there is no such thing as professional photographers.” However, Flickr provides two options to upgrade their account: Go ad-free and Double your space.

The ‘Go ad-free’ option, of course, will remove ads displayed on your stream, which is priced at $49.99 a year. The ‘Double your space’ option will give you an addition 1TB of space for $499.99 a year, which I think is very unlikely that anyone would want to buy it. 1TB itself is a huge amount of space.

Flickr Upgrade

Yahoo is the new buzz now. What more can we expect from the new CEO? Only time will reveal.

And just in case you didn’t notice, visit dearmarissamayer.com

 

Get 3 Months of Flickr Pro For Free!

Marissa Mayer has just made Flickr “awesome” again! Yahoo is giving away three months of pro services to all its current users for free. With just a few clicks, you get all the benefits of a Flickr Pro account! This is good news to all those Flickr users who have always imagined of having a pro account.

Current Flickr pro users also get the holiday season offer, with an option to extend the validity of their pro account for extra three months for free.

According to a Flickr staff who made the announcement on the site’s forum saying, “As our way to saying thanks this holiday season. We’ve got a gift for all our Flickr friends, old and new! 3 months of Free Pro!”

Free Flickr Pro - 3 Months

The free three months pro account comes with unlimited uploading, unlimited viewing of entire photo library, and also capability to post photos in up to 60 groups. This is a reward from Flickr for sticking to the service all these years.

Here’s what you get for the next 3 months with the Flickr Pro for Free offer:

  • Unlimited* uploads (up to 50MB per photo)
  • Unlimited viewing of your entire photo library
  • Post photos in up to 60 groups
  • Download your original, high-resolution photos – whenever you need them
  • Upload and play unlimited HD videos

To get the offer, login to your Flickr account and you will notice a banner right below the photo navigation links on top. Otherwise, you can simply go to — http://www.flickr.com/holidaygift — and avail the offer.

In comparison that to what you get with a free Flickr account (non-pro):

  • 300 MB monthly photo upload limit (30MB per photo)
  • 2 video uploads each month (90 seconds max, 150MB per video)
  • Photostream views limited to the 200 most recent images
  • Post any of your photos in up to 10 group pools
  • Only smaller (resized) images accessible (though the originals are saved in case you upgrade later)

Dropbox, Flickr, Google Goggles, Friendcaster And Facebook for Android Updated

Some of the popular Android apps such as Dropbox, Flickr, Google Goggles, Friendcaster and Facebook were recently updated. Dropbox, Flickr and Google Goggles received pretty major updates, while Frindcaster and Facebook for Android got minor updates. Check out the complete changelog below.

Dropbox for Android:

Dropbox for Android was updated to version 2.1.10 and it brings video thumbnail support, UI improvements for the Android 4.1 Jelly powered Nexus 7 tablet along with bugs fixes and performance improvements.

Changelog:

  • Video thumbnails
  • UI improvements for Nexus 7 tablets
  • Open Dropbox files directly from other apps
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes

[ Download Dropbox from Google Play ]

Flickr for Android:

The latest version of Flickr for Android app is numbered 1.5.0 and it comes with a brand new user interface. It allows you to choose the camera for taking pictures and then apply filters. It comes with the tab bar similar to the iOS with individual notification, profile, photo, upload and explore tabs. The new Flickr app now allows you to edit the details on your existing photos. They have also included some important features such as pull to refresh, swipe between photos and improved search.

Changelog:

  • Explore the most interesting photos around the world
  • Edit details on your existing photos
  • Choose any camera installed on your device to take a photo
  • Improved Search
  • See HTML content in comments and descriptions
  • Pull down to refresh content on a screen
  • Bug fixes

[ Download Flickr from Google Play ]

Google Goggles for Android:

Google Goggles for Android has now reached version 1.9. The latest version allows you to search from camera even when the search history is disabled. It also support non-autofocus camera. Google Goggles now check the URL against a malicious URL blacklist and comes with a faster object tracking in continuous mode.

Changelog:

  • Search-from-camera no longer requires search history to be enabled.
  • Faster, more robust object tracking in “continuous” mode
  • When scanning a QR code that has a URL encoded:
  • The thumbnail of a page is shown
  • URL is checked against a malicious URL blacklist
  • More complete barcode coverage
  • Support for non-autofocus cameras
  • When Goggles fails to find an exact match – search for products that look similar.

[ Download Google Goggles from Google Play ]

Friendcaster for Android:


The latest version of Friendcaster fixes login issues along with widget button UI and white menu icon on white background. Android devices running on the latest Jelly Bean OS were facing issues related to account sync, which has been fixed in this update. The size of the update is 4 MB and the version is bumped to 5.0.9.8.

Changelog:

  • Fixes login issues
  • Jelly Bean account sync fix
  • Bug fixes for notifications
  • Widget button UI fix
  • Fix for menu icons being white on white background
  • Other miscellaneous fixes

[ Download Friendcaster from Google Play ]

Facebook for Android:

Facebook for Android has received a pretty minor update. Now, you can add photos as well as emoji to messages right from your Android smartphone. The latest version is numbered 1.9.8 and it brings the new option to create events from your Android device. It also comes with the new upload flow, which will allow you to share photos with a few seconds.

Changelog:

  • Easily create events
  • Share photos faster with a new upload flow
  • Add photos and emoji to messages

[ Download Facebook For Android from Google Play ]

Dear Marissa Mayer, the Flickr Community Has a Request for You

Update: Flickr responds to its users in a similar fashion. Here’s what you will find at flickr.com/dearinternet:

Dear Internet, Thanks! COME HELP US MAKE FLICKR AWESOMER.

flickr.com/jobs ♥

Flickr #dearinternet

Flickr Response

Original:

In a surprising move, Yahoo appointed Marissa Mayer as the next President and CEO of the company, who was previously working for Google for the past 13 years and supervised many of well-known Google products.

Yahoo has had a rough history and has been looking for the right leader since the last four years. The company has great expectations from the newly appointed CEO and hopes to regain its lost reputation under her administration.

One of Yahoo’s popular tools is the photo sharing site — Flickr. Flickr was created by Ludicorp in 2004, and was acquired by Yahoo in 2005. Back then, Yahoo and Google were competing for the top position in the search engine market, and were offering new services to its users. In 2011, Yahoo reported that Flickr had over 51 million registered users with 80 million unique visitors, and was hosting nearly 6 billion photos from users across the globe. Flickr was once upon a time the most happening and happiest site ever.

With a high demand for photo sharing networks, new photo sharing services started to emerge out, offering better and advanced features than Flickr. While Yahoo was going under a lot of complications, it failed to focus on Flickr and didn’t seem to have any plans to improve the photo sharing site in any way. Competitors took this as their advantage, and Flickr lost several active users to them.

Marissa Mayer - Yahoo CEO

Competitors like Tumblr, 500px, Facebook, Instagram, and several others picked up eventually, and today, what we of see Flickr is more like a barren land. Though many have switched to other service to share photos, Flickr still has one of the strongest communities out there. It is one of the best sources to learn photography and the various skills required in it. However, Yahoo hasn’t given a shit about Flickr’s community.

Also Read: Flickr Teams Up with Pinterest for Better Photo Attribution

In a post by Gizmodo’s Mat Honan, the main reason why Yahoo acquired Flickr was not because of the strong community it had, or to increase social connections, but it was simply to generate revenue. This is where Yahoo made a big mistake and took Flickr for granted. And today, there result you see is the same as what many analysts expected to happen.

Yahoo has been neglecting Flickr for several years now, despite that, Flickr’s highly talented developers are trying hard to set things right and get Flickr back on track.

Today, the entire Internet is hoping for great changes from the new CEO, Marissa Mayer. A community has created a request website called dearmarissamayer.com highlighting a simple, yet important message on the site — “Dear Marissa Mayer, please make Flickr awesome again ♥ the internet #dearmarissamayer

Dear Marissa Mayer, please make Flickr awesome again

Flickr was one of the best photo sharing site with a vibrant user base. Indeed, it was one of the happiest sites until new photo sharing sites evolved. It will be interesting to see how Marissa is going to change things around her. I hope she considers Flickr as one the most important assets of Yahoo, and bring back the awesomeness of sharing photos on Flickr. Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of users who are eagerly waiting to get back to Flickr. I hope Marissa is listening.

Flickr Teams Up with Pinterest for Better Photo Attribution

Flickr today announced that  it has partnered with the newly launched social networking site, Pinterest, providing users a new way to share Flickr photos, favourites, groups and galleries, in order to attribute them appropriately.

On the Flickr blog, Kay Kremerskothen, a Flickr community manager, announced that Flickr, having worked closely with Pinterest, will now allow users to easily share content to Pinterest.

Along with the other social networking buttons including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, the new social networking site’s social button will appear in the share menu above the photos. This button will only be visible if the Flickr user has allowed the photo or video to be shared with other users.

Flickr Partners With Pinterest for Better Photo Attribution

When a user pins Flickr photo to Pinterest, a proper attribution statement will be seen under the pin’s description. This attribution will contain the name of the Flickr user or photographer, the title of the photo, and a link back to the photo page on Flickr.

Whatsoever, this attribution cannot be edited, and taking that into consideration Flickr assures that pins and repins of their images will be credited and linked back as well, ensuring people can leave comments, fave the photo, or contact you directly on Flickr. Here’s how it looks in real –

Pinterest Photo Attribution

The attribution will be included for embedded photos as well. For instance, a photo that has been posted or embedded on a blog and then shared to Pinterest will still contain the attribution with a link back to the original Flickr photo page.

“Attribution is a work in progress and we’ll continue to add additional sources,” Pinterest said in a statement. The company is also today rolling out attribution for Behance, Vimeo and YouTube.

With this partnership, Flickr hopes that its users’ photos will get more visibility and exposure, and also make see a rise in the number of visits. Flickr also anticipates a significant pop in the rate at which images are pinned to Pinterest.

Official Flickr for Android App Arrives: Late and Still Not Great

Flickr has finally delivered their official app for the Android platform. The app allows you to take beautiful photos with the in-app camera, enhance with filters, and quickly share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.

Flickr Android App

The app allows browsing and navigating in a nice way to make use of maps, tags, and activity around your photos. You can stay up to date with the latest comments and activity on your photos and take advantage of full screen browsing and slideshows. It also allows you to access additional features online such as powerful organizational tools, community groups, fun photo apps, and more to engage with the 60 million members strong Flickr community. Using Flickr’s easy privacy settings, the app takes care that you share photos only with the people you want with.

However, under the hood of the great concept and feature set, the app fails to impress. The UI is painfully slow, and sometimes multiple taps are required to select a button/option. The official thread for the Android App on Flickr forums clearly indicates that most users are not too happy with the app. Although the app is available for Android 2.1 and higher, a wide variety of Android phones are not supported. Of course there are major grouses against non-availability of the app in several countries and markets, specially from paying Flickr Pro customers.

The Official Flickr for Android app is currently available in the below countries from the Android Market:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.

Flickr Android app

Flickr Photo Session: A New Way to Share Photos in Real-Time

Flickr has announced Photo Session, a whole new way to share photos with friends around the world in real-time. All you need to do is to create a Photo Session, invite up to 10 of your friends, and flip through the photos together in real-time. Using Flickr Photo Session is like flipping through a photo book while sitting next to your friend.

You can start a Photo Session by going to any set or photostream that has sharing options enabled. Select the photos that you’d like to share and choose ‘Start a Photo Session’ in the sharing menu. If the photo owner has not enabled sharing, the options will be grayed out. Photo Session allows you to get your friends’ reactions and comments on your photos instantly. When you move to the next photo it moves for everyone else too. You can also doodle on parts of the photo with the drawing tool and chat away with each other using the built-in chat widget, all at the same time. You can’t flip when the drawing tool is enabled but anyone can turn it off when you’re ready to move on.

A Photo Session will stay open for 24 hours. You can invite your friends on Flickr via email or send out the link to your contacts. Also, you don’t have to have a Flickr account to use Photo Session. Anyone can flip the photos but you need to sign-in if you want to chat or draw.

Photo Session is still a work in progress and has been announced today in a preview mode as Yahoo irons out the issues and optimizes the experience for everyone. Currently Photo Session is only available in English, and is supported on latest versions of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. That’s hard luck for Internet Explorer 9 users like me. You can also use Photo Session on your iPhone or iPad.

Flickr Photo Session

So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]

Google-Logo

 

Google Everywhere

It is hard to go online today without touching one or more Google products or services. If it is not search, it may be email, YouTube, Blogger, Picasa, Docs, or Calendar. Google has truly blanketed us with their web-based app offerings. Heck, even the Google Doodle is a conversation topic!

In this editorial, I shall discuss how you can kick the Google habit, what I am using now as alternatives and why you probably won’t be able to replace certain Google products today. Ready to move away from Google? First, some background.

Why un-Google?

Some of the reasons I personally decided to look for alternatives:

  • Google became a part of virtually everything I did online. I used GMail, Google Reader, Google Finance, Blogger, Picasa, Picasa Web, Google Docs, Google Search, Google Calendar and Google Maps. I felt uncomfortable putting such a large portion of my online life in Google’s hands.
  • Google morphed from the cool little startup building fun stuff for consumers, to a dominant public company whose revenues essentially came from just one product. That’s the key most (96%) of its revenues (and profits) came from search advertising. In other words, it needed other ways to make money. The most obvious way to do so would be to extend the arm of advertising, their main revenue-generating product, into other products. I realized I was the merchandise.
  • Google seemed to get Apple and Facebook envy. Apple was growing rapidly across all their product lines and at very high profit margins, and Facebook was taking eyeballs and key talent away from Google. This led to some bad attempts to mock Apple and Facebook publicly, which of course delighted the Google developer and enthusiast community but came off as being negative to me. If you make a great product, you don’t need a negative campaign.
  • Aside from philosophy, some of the competing products started becoming better, and Google’s products started getting worse (more on that within my descriptions) prompting me to start Project Un-Google which was an effort to use fewer and fewer Google products, hopefully reaching a point where I did not depend on any Google product at all.

Whether it is for philosophy, or hedging your web app bets, it is good to know there is life outside Google when it comes to products and services online and offline. There is usually a strong resistance to change, especially if you have a long history with a product. There is a high cost for transferring the old stuff, and learning your way around a new product/service. However, these challenges are not insurmountable, and I hope you take a look at some or all of the products I list here as an alternative to Google. If you have ideas of other products I may not have mentioned, please let me know!

Popular Google products

Here are some of the Google products/services I will be comparing to competition:

  • Search
  • Picasa
  • GMail
  • Calendar
  • Documents
  • Groups
  • Finance
  • Blogger
  • Chrome
  • Maps/Directions
  • Talk/Chat/Voice

I realize Google has many more products, appsand services, but I did not look at products like Book Search which are very niche. My attempt here is to look at the commonly used products and services only.

iPhone 4 Tops Flickr’s Camera Popularity Charts

Six months back, Apple 3G topped the best camera device on Flickr and iPhone 4 slowly picked up it’s pace. Now, a year after iPhone 4 was released and Apple CEO Steve Jobs (at WDDC 2011), pointing out at that iPhone 4 was the second most popular camera on Flickr, has now topped Flickr’s camera popularity charts and is rated as the most popular camera in the Flickr Community.

According to the data released by Flickr, iPhone 4 is currently at the top of the list which overtook Nikon D90. It is followed by Canon cameras that are dropped down to third, fourth and fifth spots.

Most Popular Cameras on Flickr

It’s not just that. The iPhone 4 tops the “Popular Cameraphones” category surpassing Apple iPhone 3G.

Popular Cameraphones

The number of iPhone 4 usage has drastically increased over the year. iPhone 4 has been ranked 1 out the other 4 devices – iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch and iPad 2

The reason fact being that the iPhone 4 is at the top of the list is that Apple’s iOS offers web connectivity and brilliant photography apps. It is also that smartphones are social network friendly and its easier to capture and share photos as we carry it along everywhere we go.

1001 Noisy Cameras argues with the facts that the high ranking of the iPhone is more of a testament, the number of mobile phones and the probability of people having the phone rather than the success and popularity of the iPhone.

  • Every year there is exactly one new iPhone model released
  • For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple sold 14 million iPhones (that’s 14 million iPhones in 3 months)
  • In two quarters (half a year), Apple sold 30~ million iPhones. If they have two more similar quarters, the total number of iPhones would be half of the total number of digital cameras produced/shipped by the digital camera manufacturers in the whole of 2010

Apart from the features offered by iOS, the other reason could be the number of iPhones units sold. From the above stats its clear that even if DSLRs or point-and-shoot cameras had built-in Wifi/3G or were social network friendly, they still cannot stop/overtake the iPhone due to the high volume of iPhones units.

Flickr data suggests that more users are using camera phones to click everyday photographs, slowly abandoning the point-and-shoot cameras. However, Flickr’s indication of the popularity phones are accurate to the extent that they can only detect the camera that is used to take the photo or shoot the video and not the timeline marked with dates.

Flickr Adds Sharing Options – Withdraws Support for Opera

It’s good to see some updates from a site that Yahoo! is planning on sun setting. Flickr recently received some updates and has added some cool sharing options to its web interface.

5570748947_2e3372bd67

The new features include:

  • Logged in users can now easily share their photos on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress or email them. While users who aren’t logged in can share it to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Flickr has also added the ability to share private photos on Facebook. Once you share your private photos on Facebook, they become public for your friends on Facebook.

While the new features are more than welcome, in the process, Flickr has also removed support for the Opera Web browser. Ross from Flickr staff stating that in order to offer increased efficiency to other browsers they have restricted developments for Opera. He says,

I’m sorry that some pages no longer work on Opera. In order to work most efficiently for our users, we have to limit what browsers we support; that’s just the reality of modern web development. We have made the decision to not support Opera, due to the fact that it has a lot of non-standard rendering behaviors and is used by such a small percentage of Flickr members. This means that new features may not work, and that the site in general might even stop working.
I recommend downloading the latest version of Chrome, Safari, or Firefox instead.

Flickr for Opera is now less than usable. The sharing options does offer ability to share photos on Twitter and Facebook but it’s just the normal tweet button where the Flickr photo does not appear in the Twitter web interface but is rather just a shortened link by Twitter itself. Besides that, even the action function does not offer full functionality.

Opera-Flickr-Share

Opera-actions