What Is Flickr?

The popular photo sharing site is easy to start using

Flickr
Photo © yorkfoto / Getty Images

Flickr is a photo sharing platform and social network where users upload photos for others to see.

Flickr at a Glance

Users create a free account and upload their own photos (and videos) to share with friends and followers online.

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.

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 faving other users' photos, creating galleries, joining groups and following people, you can 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 will increase your chances of your photo 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, you can 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.

You can 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 1,000 GB of storage, 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. A pro account will only cost you (as of this writing) $5.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

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