Within hours of the announcement of Yahoo!'s blockbuster purchase of Tumblr for $1.1 billion, they made another bold announcement that probably made a lot more users happy. Flickr, one of the most popular web services for sharing, storing and organizing photos, just got bigger and better.
First, the entire site has received a beautiful overhaul. The new interface puts even more emphasis on great images and keeps the site controls and information in the trending flat colors and graphics. I expect that the new Yahoo design, when finally released, will be similar.
Second, every user has received an upgraded account to a full terabyte of storage space, and images are stored in full resolution. This, too, is a growing trend among web services, as smart phones become more prevalent and have improved built-in cameras, digital photographs are getting larger and larger. As a result, services that previously scaled back images for serving speed and storage, are now removing those restrictions. Google, for instance, recently increased Google Drive space to 15GB and also allows images uploaded to Google+ to be full resolution.
There are also some changes to paid accounts, namely, a new structure and pricing for Pro accounts. Existing Pro users do still have some additional benefits that might make it worthwhile, and it would appear that current Pro users will continue to renew at the same rate. Mashable breaks down the changes really well here.
The new Flickr Home features the most recent images from your contacts in a large left column. To the right, you'll see any groups you're a member of, images to explore, and the Flickr blog. It's nice to see Groups being made so prominent as it's a great and underused feature of Flickr.
Click on You in the top menu, and you'll see your new profile page and photostream. Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, users can now set a custom cover photo to really customize their profile page. Mouse over the cover photo and click on Edit cover photo. The cover photo dimensions are 1154 x 235, and you can select one of your uploaded images or upload a new one.
Just above your photos, to the right, there is a Slideshow button that will automatically go into full screen mode for a beautiful presentation of your most recent images. To the right of that is a Share button.
For me at least, what I use Flickr for the most is for searching. Every blog that I write includes an image, and if I don't have one of my own, I go to Flickr to find one that will work. I use Flickr because you can find great images that are free and appropriate to use. Fortunately, the process is mostly the same.
Make sure that you always give credit to the image owner. For most of my blog posts, I add a line at the bottom that looks like:
Image courtesy of Rocorocks, Flickr.
Notice that I kept the owner's name and link intact. I simply copy and paste right from the Image page. If you filter your results to include only Creative Commons images, than there's nothing else you need to do. If you don't, and there's an image you really want to use, you will need to contact the owner directly and request permission.
I am really impressed with the new Flickr layout, and I hope you are too. I am particularly hopeful that Yahoo will continue to develop the platform and that users will continue to upload fantastic images. What do you think of the new layout? Any questions so far?