Marissa Mayer’s New Flickr Is Beautiful And Deep With Functionality Far Surpassing Instagram

Marissa Mayer, filtered photo
Marissa Mayer, in a Flickr-filtered photo

[credit provider=”Marissa Mayer in a Flickr-filtered photo”]

Back before the smartphone era, I was a Flickr power user.But then I got an iPhone, and the purpose of my photography changed.

Instead of trying to impress strangers on Flickr, I started taking photos to share with friends and family via Facebook, then Twitter, and later Instagram.

One big reason for this was that Flickr didn’t have an iPhone app at first. Later, when it did, it was for consuming Flickr photos, not taking them.

Meanwhile, Instagram became my go-to app because it took my ugly smartphone photos and made them look halfway decent with cheesy effects like tilt-focus and filters.

But yesterday, under new, mobile-focused CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo released a new Flickr app.

It’s a huge upgrade.

But is it enough to win you and me back?

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title=”There are a bunch of Flickr apps in the app store. The one you want is just called “flickr””
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title=”After you install the app, tap on it to begin. It’s the one with the two dots in the icon.”
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title=”Tap “sign in” if you already have a Flickr or Yahoo account. Use Facebook if you don’t. It’s easier.”
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title=”You have to allow Flickr access to your Facebook account. Do this. It’ll be more fun.”
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title=”Once you’re signed in, you get this pop-up. Tap “OK” to get notifications.”
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title=”The first time in the app, you’ll see a few tips like this one…”
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title=”…and these.”
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title=”This is what the home screen looks like. Tap the blue camera icon to take a photo.”
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title=”Before taking your first photo, Flickr will want to know your location so it can put your photo on a public map and do other cool things.”
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title=”Here’s the photo-taking screen. Lots of options!”
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title=”You can zoom using the slider on the right”
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title=”Tapping the two inverse arrows at the top points the camera at you.”
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title=”Tap the lightning icon to adjust flash settings.”
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title=”Tap the box to get a grid useful for lining up your photo.”
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title=”After you take the photo, you can “filter” it like you can in Instagram”
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title=”Here are a few filters …”
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[slide
permalink=”-i-went-with-narwhal-which-is-different-from-any-filter-ive-seen-in-instagram-tap-next-to-move-on-19″
title=”… I went with Narwhal, which is different from any filter I’ve seen in Instagram. Tap “Next” to move on.”
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title=”Here’s the photo.”
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title=”Here’s the photo upload screen. It’s feature-rich compared with Instagram’s.”
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title=”Tap on the Twitter bird to share your photo to Twitter. Then tap “OK.””
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title=”Select which Twitter account you want to share your photo through.”
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title=”Tap the Facebook “f” to share the photo to Facebook. Then tap “OK.””
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title=”You can say where you took the photo by tapping “Add a Venue.””
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title=”Tap the name of the place where you are, or search for it.”
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title=”Flickr for iOS really shines when you tap “Advanced””
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title=”The “Advanced” options are familiar to desktop Flickr users …”
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[slide
permalink=”-you-can-add-your-photo-to-an-existing-set–29″
title=”… you can add your photo to an existing set …”
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permalink=”-create-a-new-set–30″
title=”… create a new “set” …”
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[slide
permalink=”-you-can-tag-a-flickr-user-who-is-your-photo–31″
title=”… you can tag a Flickr user who is your photo …”
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title=”… I tagged my colleague, Dylan Love …”
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title=”Tagging is a feature that Instagram doesn’t have yet.”
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title=”In Advanced options, you can also add categorical tags (keywords). This is also something Instagram doesn’t have.”
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title=”One odd thing: After you upload your photo, you’re dumped back into the “contacts” start screen, where your photo won’t show up.”
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title=”You have to tap on the little man icon on the bottom to go to your profile and see the photo. That said, the Flickr profile screen is much more powerful than Instagram’s.”
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title=”The “activity” tab in your profile is a little like Instagram’s stream.”
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title=”Back in your profile, tap the pink “favourites” icon …”
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permalink=”-and-you-can-see-photos-youve-previously-favorited-in-a-beautiful-arrangement-39″
title=”… and you can see photos you’ve previously “favorited” in a beautiful arrangement.”
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title=”Tap “sets” and …”
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permalink=”-you-can-see-your-photos-as-youve-organized-them-in-the-past-tap-on-a-set–41″
title=”… you can see your photos, as you’ve organised them in the past. Tap on a set …”
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title=”… and you can play a slideshow, comment on it, or share it.”
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title=”The best part of Flickr has always been the other photographers and how Flickr can organise their work. Tap the globe icon to see it all, organised by “interestingness” …”
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permalink=”-and-photos-nearby-44″
title=”… and photos nearby.”
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title=”Here’s the final screen, a bunch more granular options.”
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[slide
permalink=”so-whats-our-verdict-46″
title=”So, what’s our verdict?”
content=”Back before the smartphone era and before my DSLR was stolen, I used Flickr all the time.

I used it to show off my own mediocre, pretentious photography and to find enchanting images by artists hidden around the planet.

But then I got an iPhone and my DSLR was stolen.

I never replaced my DSLR because my photo-taking habits had changed with the advent of the smartphone.

Instead of taking fancy photos, I took snapshots with my Web-connected phone, and uploaded them onto Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram.

I missed Flickr, but its iOS app didn’t exist at first, and when it finally did, it was disappointing. In the meantime, Instagram was fine as an outlet for pretentious photos.

But this new Flickr app has captured my imagination.

I like all the filters, sure. But what I really like is …

1) How you can organise your photos.

2) How feature rich the profile page is.

3) How much better the photography by strangers is on Flickr than on Instagram. (If the Flickr app is very popular, this might change. Smartphones != DSLRs).

Verdicts:

  • This app is great, and it makes me long for an iOS- or Android-enabled DSLR. I’m even considering buying one of those adapters that let you attach an SLR lens to an iPhone.
  • Twitter power-users might flock to this app because, unlike Instagram, it puts your photos in Twitter’s stream.
  • I doubt mainstream Facebook-type users will flock to the service as an Instagram replacement. It’s still too complicated for that.


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