Flickr's back! The once-beloved photo service had a rough couple of years as its passionate community of photographers slowly migrated to buzzy new photo-sharing sites and apps. But on Wednesday, Yahoo unveiled a gorgeous new Flickr app for both iOS and Android —shrewdly timed to take advantage of Instagram and Twitter's messy divorce. When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took the reins of the struggling company back in July, she revealed her plan to streamline Yahoo's product lines, with many users rallying behind her to "make Flickr awesome again." Is Flickr's new Instagram-like photo app as awesome as fans hoped? Maybe. And here are a few reasons you should considering giving it a try:
1. It plays nice with Twitter
Earlier this week, Instagram disabled its API so that its photos would no longer appear embedded inside tweets. Now you have to click an annoying link in the tweet to get to Instagram's website if you want to see someone's pictures. That isn't the case with Flickr's new app, which displays photos prominently inside Twitter's preview cards. You can also post to Facebook, Tumblr, and more by checking the appropriate boxes before you post.
2. It's easy to add friends
The app can scrape your friend lists from Facebook and Twitter to find pals who are already on Flickr. Instagram used to be able to do this, but Twitter effectively disabled the feature a few months ago in one of the first of many shots fired. "We've built the app with sharing in mind," Flickr VP Brett Wayn said in a blog post.
3. Browsing photos is a gorgeous (and intuitive) experience
Pictures are big and bright. And they don't even have to be confined to a square shape as they do on Instagram. Flickr's app also uses a multilateral approach to browsing: Like Instagram, you can scroll up and down to vertically browse photos in chronological order. If something stands out, you can flick left and right to horizontally look at more photos that a specific user has taken. It's a smart, intuitive use of space.
4. The filters are pretty great
Flickr's photo filters were designed by Aviary, the same company the built Twitter's new photo filters. This time they're given names like "Panda" (black and white), "Salamander" (which brings out reds), and "Toucan" (which makes colors pop).
Will Flickr's new app be a hit? As Stephen Shankland at CNET notes, with 85 million active users per day on its website, Flickr is "still relevant if no longer cutting-edge." But perhaps these new features — which all worked really well when I tried them — combined with built-in sharing for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google's Blogger, and more, will spark the interest of new users, or maybe even nab old ones who'd given up on Flickr. Instagram might not have to watch out for Flickr since they appeal to different audiences. (Instagram makes everyone a photographer; Flickr's community appeals more to hobbyists). But just maybe Instagram can learn a thing or two about how playing nice with others can lead to a better product.
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