Cheating on Flickr

Once, Flickr was THE photo site, with one of great early online communities, formed around a shared love of photography.

All the proper photographers I know are on Flickr. Me, I’ve got 1450 images and videos there. I get a free Pro account though my *cough* marvellous ISP – with this, I can upload all the photos I like at full resolution – making it my online backup for photos I want to keep safe forever more.

But – I’ve been messing with something I shouldn’t have been messing with. Instagram photos ran through my Twitter stream, with a 70s-hued-glow array of cats, sunsets and food (ref: @textinstagram). Without having actually used it, I’d always scorned Instagram’s hipster filters and iOS-only elitism. Bah. Humbug, etc.

Still, when the Android app was released, I signed up (ahem) out of curiosity. And saw what all the fuss was about – the mobile app is marvellous. A never ending stream of creativity from people you know, with basic but easy to use social features is a wonderful thing to have at your fingertips.

Photography-wise, I don’t like the filters – they seem a bit knowing, self-conscious or just plain hipster-ish to me. The ‘square frame’ limitation is a pain and explains why so many Instagram photos are close ups of whatever’s to hand. I’m getting my head around the fact Instagram is MOBILE ONLY – the web presence is spartan like an Australian’s capacity to understand jandal-situation-appropriateness, but everyone seems pretty comfortable with it.

Where I’m at now is this:

  • Flickr is my home for photos (and videos) of the kids, photos taken on my ‘proper’ cameras and photos I generally want to keep and back up online in one place. That includes non-Instagram pictures taken on my phone, ‘nicer ones’ I guess
  • Instagram is my home for everyday photos, ones I care less about (if you get me), but want to share on the internet. The mobile internet, anyway. It IS fun, for sure

I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into Flickr, am proud of my little collection and the story it tells about my little family (my kids’ photos are behind a security layer, sorry!). Where Instagram has turned my head is its tremendous mobile app and associated ease of sharing. When Flickr’s own mobile app, which is sadly lacking, catches up, it may be able to compete, if it can get all those hipsters to use the same photo service their Dad does.

Update – just found this today: How Yahoo killed Flickr

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