Together we have defined online photo sharing. Currently, there are nearly 2 million groups sharing 1 million photos every day. We were the first significant online community where you could store, organize, tag, and share digital photos. Before Flickr, there was no widespread way to share your photos with friends, family and the wider public.
It’s easy to forget that Flickr was one of the early pioneers of embedding – long before YouTube came along – and that many of the photos in the early years of this blog were Flickr embeds, to protect limited storage space and bandwidth on my server back then. Flickr introduced many of us to the power of metadata, as it made it so easy to lag, and then geotag photos.
It’s certainly lost its way since then, it was far too slow to the mobile world, and is, in many ways, a shadow of its former self. Yet, I still search it regulalrly for Creative Commons images to use in my work, and am always suprised by the work I find in there. I suspect if I took just a little time to reinvestiagte it, I’d find a lot of life in the service. Maybe the anniversary will spur me to do so.
As far as I can see, this is the first photo I uploaded to Flickr (after my profile pic):
That wasn’t until August, though, so I don’t know if I was just unaware of Flickr, or if there was some reason it was hard to get an account in the early days. Either way, the evidence on this blog is that I didn’t join until mid-August.
Still, more of my photography has been seen on Flickr than anywhere else. I’ve had 1,002,974 views in the life of my account. That’s not anything to be sneezed at. I doubt all my physical photos have had more than a tiny fraction of that number of views in aggregate. This, rather bizarrely, is the most viewed photo, at 16,731 views:
It’s one of a series of photos I shot on the day of the London bombings – which collectively make up most of my top 10 viewed photos.
Flickr really made photo-sharing viable for a mass of people, and has opened up more artistic work to more people than we give it credit for.
Flickr is still there, and still growing. It hasn’t been “sunsetted” by Yahoo. Given how many other services from those days – and the days afterwards – are now gone, that’s still quite an achievement.
Long live Flickr.