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Flickr gets a stunning new look, but still feels incomplete

Nick Mediati | May 22, 2013
After years of languishing mostly unchanged, Flickr—the one-time leader in photo-sharing sites—finally got a major overhaul. Is it enough to get you back? Maybe.

new Flickr

After years of languishing mostly unchanged, Flickr-the one-time leader in photo-sharing sites-finally got a major overhaul on Monday. With the update, everyone now gets 1TB of storage (for photos up to 200MB and videos up to 1GB or three minutes each), and the site itself got a massive facelift. I took some time to play with the new-look Flickr, and while the updated photo sharing service is a solid upgrade overall, it feels unfinished to a degree.

Welcome to new Flickr

When you log into Flickr, you'll see something like this.

The first thing you'll notice when you log into Flickr is a completely new look. Instead of a homepage that is mostly text with image thumbnails, you'll instead be greeted with a stream of big, beautiful photos from your Flickr friends, as well as recommended photos from others. The interface has a clean, simple, flat appearance, similar to what Microsoft uses with Windows Phone 8.

Profile pages

Profile pages look stunning.

The image-heavy look carries over to profile pages: At the top of each profile page is space for a cover photo-sort of like what you'll find on Facebook-followed by a grid layout that displays a photostream in reverse chronological order. As you resize your browser window, the photos resize with it in a responsive design that makes use of every last inch of screen space you give them.

On the Photostream tab, three buttons in the upper right let you initiate a photo slideshow complete with a pan-and-zoom effects, access sharing options to share photos via a link, via email, or another social network (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr), and choose other viewing options.

Clicking the Sets tab shows you any photosets that user has created (or your sets, if you're viewing your own page); meanwhile, clicking Favorites will show you all the photos that person (or you) favorited.

These pages are presented beautifully, and they're reasonably easy to navigate, too. The one thing I didn't like was how clicking photos sent you to a new page to view the photo instead of in a pop-over photo viewer as you get on Facebook. You can get something close to this by mousing over a photo and selecting the tiny double-arrows icon to view the image in the lightbox, but I'd prefer it if this were the default behavior, with a link to a photo page with more information.


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