February 23, 2012
Flickr To Upgrade And Redesign This Month
Flickr will be updating its website and introducing new services as competitors are threatening it online prominence. The updates begin with a new photo stream design, Justified View, and a new uploading feature, called Uploadr.
Flickr head of product, Markus Spiering, discussed these changes earlier this week and promised more user engagement with the changes, reports Zoe Fox for Mashable.
“Flickr provides you with the most beautiful, most secure, most functional, and most engaging experience around your photos,” said Spiering. “We have a lot of native integration: You can view photos on your Apple TV or Google TV. You can work with it in Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture–there´s a whole ecosystem.”
Going live on February 28 is Justified View, which trades Flickr´s current white space-filled layout for something that looks a lot more like Pinterest, which has inspired many imitators with its web design. The new photo stream will first go live with the people you follow and showcases bigger photos and lacks text data. You can hover over photos to view tags and other information.
“On a larger screen,” said Spiering, “it´s like a wall of photos.”
There is a fresh format for uploading photos, called Uploadr, which will go live next month using HTML5 to allow drag-and-drop from the operating system folders. Spiering calls Uploadr more like an app and less like a website. Your images are instantly viewed as thumbnail images, allowing you to add tags as you upload.
Spiering tells Michael Muchmore of PC Mag that Flickr always uses the highest resolution available for display. “It´s very engaging,” said Speiring. “We see in our first metrics that people consume a lot more photos, they interact so much more with photos in this view. It´s also a glimpse of the design direction for Flickr.”
More changes will be seen in the coming months, but one issue that had people´s dander up recently was Google shutting down the Picnik online photo editing service, which Flickr incorporated on its site. Spiering didn´t give specific details, but did say “we´re going to announce a new partner in mid-March.”
“Photo editing is an important part of what people do on Flickr,” he concluded. “Our goals with the new editing experience are that it needs to faster and more embedded.”
With over 74 million users and over 10 million photo groups, Flickr caters to all visual tastes. Spiering and his team hope that these changes will make it even more appealing to more people.
Influential photographer Thomas Hawk, a big proponent of Google+, is impressed with the pending Flickr changes and believes that Spiering is the right man to spearhead a Flickr turnaround. “It´s super positive to see innovation coming out of Flickr,” Hawk told Jennifer Van Grove of VentureBeat. “I think Markus Spiering is turning out to be a pretty positive thing for Flickr.”
Flickr, as Hawk sees it, has needed a redesign for years, and Hawk thinks that a page focused on better photos will go a long way to encourage more activity. “Hopefully, though, Flickr uses this redesign as a first step in a bigger overhaul that actually addresses site functionality in even bigger and more meaningful ways,” Hawk added.
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