What Flickr is and How to Start Sharing Photos

Last updated: April 25, 2017 - 4:30pm EDT

Have you ever kept a photo album or scrapbook? Have you ever wished there was a better way to keep them organized, or that you could easily share them with your friends and family? If so, you’re in luck! Flickr.com is a website that allows you to do exactly that. In this article, we’ll cover what Flickr is and how it works.

What is Flickr?

Flickr (pronounced "flicker") is a storage, organization, and sharing tool for photos and videos. It allows users to upload and organize collections of photos and videos all in one place, so they can easily access and share them. You can also follow other users to see the photos and videos that they post.

Flickr has two stated goals. The first is to give you innovative new ways to organize your photos and videos, as well as information about them. This not only makes your photos and videos easier for you to find, but it also makes them easier to find and enjoy for other people, too. 

Flickr's second goal is to help you put your photos and videos in front of the people that matter to you. In that capacity, it has plenty of options for sharing photos and videos across social media accounts, or -- if you're a more private person -- with specific individuals on the website or elsewhere.

How does Flickr work? 

1. An easy way to store all your photos.

Flickr makes putting your photos and videos on it simple, and gives you plenty of options for customizing the information about them. Add "tags" and a description to make your photos easier to find and enjoy, or make them private if you want to admire them by yourself. With 1 terabyte (1000 gigabytes) of memory storage, you'll almost never run out of space for your photos and videos!

Photo storage on Flickr

2. Virtual photo albums to organize your photos however you like.

You can place your photos in virtual albums and rearrange them in whatever order you want. If you want to take things a step further, though, you can create "collections" and organize albums or other collections into a thematic hierarchy or sequence. You can even create a cool collage based on photos within your collection!

Flickr albums and collections

3. Move your photos where you need them to go.

Flickr has options that allow you to share the photos you upload instantly on your other social networks, from Facebook to Tumblr, from Pinterest to Twitter. You can also use plain old email, or even copy a link to your picture and stick it directly in an email, post, or even a website! Plus, you can download copies of your photos as often as you want, so you'll always have spares on hand in case the original files go missing.

Share photos from Flickr on other social media

4. Socialize with others around snapshots, and create groups to appreciate the work of other users.

Like on many other social networks, you can follow the activity of particular users that you like. Or, you can join a group and share photos with them, and discuss the types of photos that you like (or anything else that comes to mind). You can even create your own group and see how many members you can get!

Follow other Flickr users

5. Collaborate on albums with your family and friends.

Are you planning a party or an event? If you want to have all the photos and videos from your party in one place, you can create a Flickr group and invite all of the people that will be attending the event to join the group. Then, after the event, everyone can share and store the photos and videos they captured at the event to the group, so all of you can enjoy them together.

Create groups on Flickr

History of Flickr

Flickr was created by Canadian company Ludicorp in 2004 and bought by Internet giant Yahoo in 2005. The website experienced a major makeover in 2013 – by that time, it had over 87 million users and over 6 billion uploaded photos. Since the website was created, it has introduced apps for iOS and Android devices.

The website was given another overhaul in 2015, including easier uploading to the website and upgrades to the Flickr apps. During the summer of 2016, it was announced that both Yahoo and Flickr would be acquired by Verizon. This corporate change is expected to be finalized by mid-2017.

How Much Does It Cost?

Flickr is free to use. You can sign up for an account, and upload, organize, and store up to 1TB (1000 GB) of photo and video files, all for free. However, they do offer “Pro” and “Pro+” account options for a monthly or yearly fee, respectively. You can pay for additional features and an ad-free experience. To learn more about the costs of using the service, and what you can get with the premium service, check out our article about it here.

Is Flickr Safe To Use?

Flickr is safe to use, and offers lots of security options so that you can keep your photos and videos private if you want to. There are also settings that can deter downloading of photos you store on Flickr – you can disable sharing and right clicking if you don’t want others to save your photos.

Keep in mind that despite these settings, if someone wants to download a photo from Flickr, they can likely figure out a way to do it. Any photo or video that is posted and viewable online is vulnerable to being downloaded by others. If you really don’t want other people to be able to download your photos – if for example, you’re a photographer, and you don’t want your work to be stolen – don’t post them online.

Pros and Cons of Flickr

Some pros of Flickr are that it’s free to sign up for, and you get 1TB (1000 GB) of storage, for free. Another great thing about it is that there are lots of options for organizing your photos and videos as well, and Flickr has options that allow you to share your photos with your friends and family.

On the other hand, some cons of Flickr are that if you have your photos public, they may be vulnerable to being downloaded by others. While there are settings that can deter people from saving your photos, it is still possible. Also, if you want access to more features or an ad-free experience, you have to pay a subscription fee.

Flickr Alternatives

Although Flickr is an awesome site to use for storing and organizing your photos and videos, maybe it isn’t quite what you’re looking for. If you’re on the hunt for a different photo sharing website to try out instead, here are a few other options. 500px.com is similar to Flickr, but also gives you the option to buy customized collectibles and memorabilia with your photos on it. Photobucket.com and Smugmug.com are a couple of other competitors that also offer additional features and more storage for a monthly fee. DeviantArt.com is similar to Flickr in that it allows users to upload photos, but it also showcases other types of art, including animations, poetry, and short stories.

Check out our article on the best sites like Flickr to learn about these sites and more!

 

And that’s our introduction to Flickr. Consider reading the rest of our Flickr course to learn how to do all of the basics, like signing up for an account, uploading photos, and how to organize your photos into albums and collections.

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