Flickr is one of the longest standing photo sharing sites on the internet (Feb 2004), but it finds itself playing catch-up with a relative newcomer -Instagram (Oct 2010).
Why is that?
Because the way most people take and share photos has dramatically changed since Flickr was founded over a decade ago.
10 Years is a very long time in this era of technology. How many people do you know are still using a ten year old device of any sort- TV, PC, Cellphone, internet connection. The smartphones we carry around today have more power and connectivity than the large tower desktop computers of ten years ago. People now use their smartphones for everything including documenting their daily lives through photography.
That is where Instagram came in. An app based on your smartphone it allows you the ability to be an archivist of daily life, artistic creative type and socializer with the swipe of a few strokes. Take a picture with your phone, apply a filter to make it your own and share it with just a few friends or the whole world faster than it took me to type this paragraph.
Sure beats booting up a clunky old PC, opening a web browser, sticking in an SD memory card, uploading photos and all the corresponding social media sites to share with, oh is that your computer needing to do a software update.
See what I mean, that’s like me typing this on a typewriter, scanning the pages to get the same results as typing this on a keyboard.
Sure there is still a need for desktop based image collections, the good news is Flickr can be both.
That is why I tried its app on my iPad recently to see how close it comes to its competition - VSCO CAM and Instagram.
Lets take a look at some screenshots:
First is the capture or camera screen, great feature here - the ability to use the filters in a live view during capture. Instead of having to take the photo and then apply the filter you can apply at capture.
Second is the editing screen, the magic wand is like an auto fix, there is a crop and the color rings are the filters, the dots expand the editing features on more screen with things like contrast and brightness.
The final screenshot I wanted to share was the info screen, I think this one is pretty cool, kudos on this Blade Runner/ Minority Report looking screen, Tech is cool yet many apps don’t reflect that coolness.
All in all what matters is the response from the community that made Instagram the Billion Dollar success that it is, surpassing Twitter and Facebook in daily teen users. Not the hardcore photo geek who used to own a chemical darkroom but the person who grew up using tech and isn’t ashamed to do something the easy way because of it.
What ever you do moving forward Flickr don’t forget that.