Flickr photo sharing is a handy way to upload, store, and share your photos and videos with others. The service is free to use, and has become an extremely popular destination for photo enthusiasts worldwide, storing billions of photographs for millions of users. Flickr is a great way to have your pictures hosted for use in blogs, personal websites, and social media.
About Flickr Photo Sharing
Flickr began in February 2004, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and relied on a chat room and live photo sharing. The pictures that were stored at that time were mostly gathered from other websites, and Flickr became an odd little archive of online photos from various sources.
In 2005 Flickr was purchased by search giant Yahoo!, and all of the servers were relocated to the United States. The service evolved over the next few years, adding personal storage spaces for users to upload photos as well as video content.
Flickr has become a sort of social media group, allowing users to not only view others' photos but also comment and tag them, and sort them into groups. Members can choose to make their pictures open for everyone to see, or only invite a select group of people to see their content.
Free Versus Pro Accounts
The basic Flickr photo sharing service is free to use, but there is also a paid account option. Here are the main differences between the two:
- Up to 100 MB of storage space per month
- Ability to store up to two videos, with length and size restrictions
- Restrictions on the amount of bandwidth you use each month
- Interactivity is wide open, including viewing, tagging, and commenting on photos
- Accounts are deleted after 90 days of inactivity
- Unlimited storage space for photos
- Unlimited video storage
- Unlimited bandwidth usage
- Pages are free from advertisements
- Access to traffic statistics for photos and videos
Using Flickr Images on Your Sites
Flickr allows members to easily use their stored media in blogs, on many social media sites such as Facebook, and on personal websites. Since the free accounts limit the amount of bandwidth you use, however, these images can quickly eat up the monthly restrictions if you use them often, or if you have heavy traffic to your sites.
When images are uploaded to Flickr, the owners of the photos can select what type of copyright they want to place on their pictures. These can range from a creative commons license that allows other people to use the images, to a restrictive all rights reserved claim that does not allow the photos to be used elsewhere.
If you're looking for photos to use online from Flickr, you can easily search available images by license type. It's considered good etiquette (and even required in some cases) to provide a link back to where the photo originated from, and credit the owner. Many people believe that they can just use whatever pictures they like from any source, including Flickr, but this is not the case. If in doubt, always ask permission from the owner of the image before using a photo for any purpose.
Other Flickr Features
Flickr has integrated some fun and useful features to the service, including:
- The ability to feed your photos through RSS and Atom feeds
- Images can be uploaded from all kinds of devices, including camera phones and the Nintendo DSi
- Photos can be geotagged, which means they can be labeled with geographical data tags
- Images can be edited online after uploading
- Users can design and purchase merchandise, such as shirts and calendars, that feature their images on them directly through Flickr
A Whole World of Photos
Even if you're not a terrific photographer, it can be fun to upload your images to Flickr and share them with the community there. The sheer volume of available photos to browse through is impressive, and you're very likely to meet new people who share common interests through photo sharing.