Lots of storage for your media — Whether you have a free account or a paid account, it gives you 1 terabyte (that's 1000 gigabytes!) of memory storage. This means that you'll almost never run out of room to stash your photos and videos. Plus, the upload process is pretty simple, and you can download copies of your files as often as you want!
Plenty of organization tools — You can categorize your photos and videos with descriptions and keyword "tags", so they're easier to find and interpret. Put photos together in virtual albums, or even organize several albums together in a themed collection. You can even order custom photo albums or wall art based on your pictures!
You're in control of where your photos go — Want to keep your photos private? That's fine; you can make it so that only people who know the Internet address for your photos can see them. Or, if you want to go the other way and show them off to everyone, Flickr has ways to easily get them to your social media accounts, your blog, your friends via email… wherever you want them.
Join your fellow photo enthusiasts — Flickr also functions as its own social network, in a way. Follow the latest uploads from people whose work you admire, or join a group and add your photos… or at least your input on various discussion topics. If you'd like, you can even create your own group dedicated to your favourite kinds of photos!
A bit of a tight fit — Despite the massive amount of memory storage space that you get with your account, your photos each cannot take up more than 200 megabytes of memory storage each, and your videos cannot take up more than 1 gigabyte of memory storage or more than 3 minutes in length each.
Breaking up is hard to do — Disbanding groups on Flickr is somewhat cumbersome; you have to manually kick everyone else out of the group, and then leave the group yourself.
If you want the best, you have to pay for it — Unless you have a paid account, you will see advertisements whenever you are browsing for photos. Other people will also see advertisements when you share your photos with them, as well. Also, you cannot edit photos directly on Flickr. However, with a paid account (under certain conditions), you can get a temporary discount on a subscription to software programs that will allow you to touch up your photos.
The bottom line: 8/10
Flickr has gone through quite a few changes since its conception in 2004 and purchase by Yahoo in 2005. Some of these changes were met with harsh criticism (and were often reversed), but the majority of them have made Flickr better at what it does. It's big selling points are the massive amount of storage for your photos and videos that you get (even with a free account, and despite individual file size limitations), as well as plentiful organization and sharing options to get your photos noticed (should you want them to be). The interface is relatively simple and clean, but it hides several fine-tuning options that you can use to make sure your profile and pictures look and act the way you want them to.
Besides the advertisements that you (and others) see on a free account, as well as a few clunky parts of its interface (especially around groups and some settings), Flickr has one other glaring weakness. That is the fact that it has been around for a relatively long time (at least as far as technology goes), and yet it hasn't drastically changed what it does. While that isn't necessarily a totally bad thing, it does mean that it has debatably fallen behind (in some respects) other services that are doing similar things. For example, other websites may offer unlimited file storage, no individual file size limits, direct photo editing, and advanced tools to actually promote and sell your photos (usually included in paid accounts).
Overall, though, if you want a dedicated photo and video storage service that favours simplicity over a bunch of advanced bells and whistles meant for art professionals, Flickr is a pretty solid choice. If you are convinced and think you want to sign up, check out our next tutorial on how to sign up for an account.