What Is Flickr? An Intro to the Popular Photo Site

The popular photo-sharing site is easy to start using

Flickr is a photo-sharing platform and social network where users upload photos for others to see. Users create a free account and upload their own photos (and videos) to share with friends and followers online. Here's how it works.

How Flickr Is Different From Other Photo Platforms

What sets Flickr apart from other popular photo-sharing apps like Facebook and Instagram is that it's truly a photo-centric platform built for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts to show off their work while enjoying the work of others.

It's more focused on the art of photography than any other major social network out there. Think of it as Instagram for professional photographers.

Flickr's Most Notable Features

When you sign up for your Flickr account and start exploring the photo-sharing platform, make sure you check out the following features. These features set Flickr apart and make it so different from other services.

  • Profile: Just like any other social network, you get a profile on Flickr where you can upload a user photo and write a brief bio. You can also showcase up to 25 of your favorite photos and collect testimonials from users who are fans of your work.
  • Photostream: Your photostream is your very own public portfolio of photos. Any uploads you set to be publicly viewable will appear in this section.
  • Albums: To keep your photo collections nice and neat, organize them into albums. You can share entire albums with friends.
  • Faves: Beneath every photo shared on Flickr is a star button that you can click to favorite that photo. It's a great way to bookmark photos you want to come back to later by accessing your Faves tab.
  • Galleries: Galleries are different from albums. They allow you to publicly showcase other users' photos. You can add up to 50 photos or videos to a gallery.
  • Groups: Groups are based around a central topic or idea and allow users to freely join. Members of a group can share their photos and participate in group discussions.
  • Stats: You can see exactly how other users are finding and viewing your photos on Flickr by accessing your stats. You'll get to see graphs and charts representing your source breakdown, recent views, and top views.
  • Recent Activity: Get a glimpse of all the recent interactions you've received on your photos, like faves and comments, by looking at your recent activity. You can also filter your activity to see activity on just your photos, replies to your comments, messages, or a custom view.
  • People: Flickr is better with friends. You can import your contact lists from Facebook, Yahoo, or Gmail to see who's already on Flickr so you can connect with them.
  • Organize: Use Flickr's unique Organizr tool to edit your photos and arrange them just the way you want.

Flickr is also one of the best places to go to find photos with a Creative Commons license, which offers people permission to use photos for certain purposes as long as attribution is given.

Engaging With the Flickr Community

The more you get involved in Flickr's community, the greater your chance of getting more exposure for your photos and discovering the work of others. Besides favoriting other users' photos, creating galleries, joining groups, and following people, enhance your social experience on Flickr by doing the following:

  • Include a good description with each photo. Tell viewers what your photo is all about, what inspired you, where it was taken, or any other details that matter.
  • Tag your photos. Adding keyword tags to your pictures will increase the chances of those photos showing up in search results.
  • Reply to comments. Even a friendly "thank you" is encouraged!
  • Leave comments on other users' photos. If you find a photo that you like, leave a comment to say what you like about it. Better yet, ask a question to encourage a reply from the owner!

How to Sign up for Flickr

Flickr is owned by Yahoo, so if you already have an existing Yahoo email address, use that (along with your password) to sign up for a Flickr account. If you don't have one, you'll be asked to create one during the sign-up process, which will only require your full name, current email address, password, and birthdate.

Sign up on the web at Flickr.com or on the free mobile app. It's available for both iOS and Android devices.

Flickr vs. Flickr Pro

A free Flickr account gets you storage for 1,000 photos or videos, all of Flickr's powerful photo editing tools, and smart photo management. If you upgrade to a Pro account, however, you'll get access to advanced stats, an ad-free browsing and sharing experience, and use of Flickr's Desktop Auto-Uploadr tool.

Most users only need a free account, but if you do decide to go Pro, it's still very affordable at $6.99 per month.

  • How do you delete a Flickr account?

    To delete a Flickr account, sign in to Flickr, open Settings, tap Personal Information, and select Delete your Flickr account.

  • How do you download all your Flickr data?

    Sign in to Flickr, open Settings, and under Your Flickr Data select Request My Flickr Data. For more information about what you can download and how downloads work, consult Flickr's support page.

  • How do I find my Flickr ID?

    Go to your profile page and view the URL in your browser. The last part of the URL is your Flickr ID. For example, Jane155 is the Flickr ID in this URL: www.flickr.com/photos/Jane155/. The Flickr ID may or may not be the same as your username.

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