The problem is I still want to take pictures, be able to use some filters to spice them up while covering up for my crappy composition, and share them. While there are a couple other Instagram imitators, I found an elegant solution in a relatively unlikely place.
Now I have always been a fan of Flickr, having used it for years personally. It has had a long standing reputation as the original social photograph sharing site and it is one of the services I continue to recommend to agencies in their use of Social Media. The problem is that it really didn’t evolve with the rest of the internet, and its mobile app has been more than slightly lacking. For that matter, until the new one was released, it was pretty clunky and horrendous. Flickr is owned by Yahoo! and if you pay attention to the tech scene you probably already know the tumultuous times they’ve had over the last few years. However with their new CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t just another executive type body thrown into the slot, she was one of the founding Google engineers and has quite a bit of experience on building products that work.
The new Flickr mobile app for iOS is a clear result of that. The app now features it’s own camera and filter editing suite, very much like Instagram does. It allows you a robust view of both your own photostream and the photostreams of your contacts, with the newest additions being presented at the top. While Flickr does not force 1:1 cropping of the images, it does do a nice job of juxtaposing different sizes next to each other.
Once you have the image you want and are ready to upload it, Flickr gives you quite a few options about the photos Title, Description, and whether it goes into any of your already existing sets on the service. If your concerned about privacy, you can also limit visibility of the image before you upload it. Flickr sharing is not just limited to your Flickr Photostream. You are able to share the photo socially to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and via e-mail.
On of the other really nice things about using Flickr is that when you share your photo on Twitter, the photos appear directly within in the Twitter app. Instagram and Twitter have been involved in a little bit of an API war recently, and the result has been Instagram photos no longer appearing live in Twitter feeds. Since Flickr is still on Twitter‘s good side (at least for now), you can see the photos right there.
While I liked Instagram, it is hardly the only (or for that matter the best) option out there for photo sharing. Flickr‘s new app combines the strong points of Instagram‘s mobile success with Flickr‘s long standing solidity in a web presence with tools of curation that are second to none.