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Flikr is one of the most well known photo storage and sharing platforms around. It’s been around for some time, providing an easy-use system for photo enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Uploading photos is very simple and you can even set your devices, such as an iPad or mobile phone, to automatically upload your snaps to Flickr. This means you’ll never lose your pictures, even if you were to lose your phone. It also keeps a track of where you were when a photo was taken, building a kind of diary-cum-interactive map of your experiences. In years to come, you can look back on holidays or trips away, work parties or more, and know exactly where and when you were.
Since you can upload up to half a million photos, it would be very easy to lose track of which photos were in which folders. You can create albums, but even so this might become confusing if you take a lot of photos. Thankfully, Flickr.com allows you to tag your photos with key words or names, which you can then search through. So, for example, if you want to find a photo of you at a Halloween party several years ago, you could search for “Halloween, party, dinosaur” and find yourself dressed as a t-rex.
Unfortunately signing up is a bit of a hassle if you don’t have a Yahoo account, as this is necessary to become a member. Otherwise, signing up is easy to do, and uploading photos can begin immediately.
Whilst you can build albums, there have been some complaints since the site has undergone a revamp. It’s now more suited towards touch screen access, which is great if you’re using a decent phone or iPad, but some users find the experience less intuitive for use on a regular computer. Still, we felt that the site was generally very easy to navigate, without many flaws to put you off using it.
You can download apps to help upload your files, including video. All users are able to upload HD photo and video, but, if you upgrade to a paid account, then you can upload photos of up to 200MB each, which is pretty substantial.
You can have your photos printed if you wish, which is a nice touch if you want to create an album as a gift, or just like to flick through non-digital pages. There are also other items, such as mugs and mouse mats, which you can have your pictures printed onto. There are also various security and protection protocols in place so you can be assured that your photos are only printed by you. However, other users can see your photos, so make sure to check your settings and change them if you don’t wish for others to view them.
The photo editing tools available on Flickr are pretty good, allowing you to quickly and easily reduce red eye, crop pictures, change colors and more. They are intuitive enough that most beginners should be able to manage, but you can also swat up on how the tools work if you’re unsure.
Aside from a larger capacity for individual photos, the site isn’t very explicit about the advantages of upgrading to a Pro account. You can, however, view stats on your account, allowing you to see who has been visiting, and which photos are popular. Pro membership is relatively cheap at around $22.50 per year on the 2 year contract, but we’re not convinced it’s necessarily worth upgrading unless you really need a higher storage capacity for individual photos.
Over all, Flickr has some great tools available for photo enthusiasts. Whilst some think that it might not be as versatile for rearranging or organizing groups of photos as it once was, we had little concern over its functions in general. Considering this site is free to use, allowing you to upload 500,000 pictures, we think it offers a superb service.
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