Venerable photo-sharing site Flickr is reported to be on the verge of its most drastic (and long-overdue) redesign in many years. Tech website BetaBeat just reported that Flickr is adopting a new interface that will look more like Google+, and less like a whitespace-and-text-filled website from the 90s. The new look is set to be introduced on February 28th, with the uploader coming in March.
I’m a Flickr user myself and still find their moderate pricing combined with unlimited storage a killer feature. Furthermore their focus has always remained on making photography accessible and not social networking (I hope this doesn’t change). And they offer some pretty neat online photo editing via Picnik. Not to mention powerful privacy filters. But…
Unfortunately the website is a clunky dinosaur. When I have to share photographs of an event, and I want customers to view and download the photographs Flickr was always a bad choice. To download a photograph at full resolution you have to go through at least 3 click (or right-click) actions – each of them being slow. And the interface in general looks (and is) straight out of the last century. It’s probably telling that parent company Yahoo is still battling to get out of its downward spiral (having led to them to fire their CEO last year).
But things are apparently about to change, and I think that Flickr can still save itself. Despite the many other photo sharing sites Flickr still has a uniquely powerful name that is almost universally recognized. Probably their strongest competition, Google’s Picasa Webalbums and/or Google+ doesn’t offer unlimited storage, and is still too entangled in other services and afflicted by a niche/nerd image.
Thus – looking forward to the upcoming change!