the shock of the new... Flickr

As you know I am a huge fan of Flickr and have been for years now, so I don't think it's possible for me to gloss over the dramatic changes they made to their site on Monday. If you use Flickr I am sure you have seen it already and are likely to have some strong opinions. Everyone seems to have an extremely strong opinion on the new look...

My new look Flickr photostream | Emma Lamb

I'll admit I was a little shocked at first since the changes are so visually dramatic and completely unexpected. I couldn't get into the site properly yesterday, but after playing around this morning to seek out all the functionality it doesn't seem so bad. Although I'm softening to the new look, I can't say I'm loving it. Here are a couple of key comments I left over on Flickr this morning...


"One of the reasons that I'm disappointed with the new look is that it's seems to have changed the perceived function of the site. Many photographers have used this site as a way to share their art in a beautiful way and stimulate intellectual discussion and interaction with each other. The old presentation allowed space for this, I mean visual space as well as titles, descriptions and comment forms. For me the new presentation undervalues all of this, it undervalues photography as an art form.

Images look cramped and cluttered in the justified format and portrait format images are almost lost entirely (although this format does make it quick and easy to flick through recent uploads to find certain images). Descriptions are hidden on the photo stream page and once on a photo's page the description text is smaller than that showing who has favourited the photo. These are quite simple changes on the face of it, but their impact feels very severe. Together they shift the focus away from admiring and respecting beautiful photography to turning Flickr into a photo dumping ground, so to speak.

My new look Flickr photo-page | Emma Lamb

I get what the new look Flickr is trying to do. They want to update their site to align themselves with other photo sharing sites and social media networks in a bid to stay competitive, but the beauty of Flickr was that it had more depth than those other sites. It respected and celebrated photography in a really beautiful way while still having a social networking structure through groups and whatnot.

I think I'm mostly disappointed because in this revamp they had the opportunity to do something really amazing and make Flickr the next big thing in photo sharing. I mean, how beautiful is Pinterest for image sharing!? They have totally hit the nail on the head with that one, it is so visually appealing! Instead it feels like Flickr are playing catch up to a bunch of social networking sites that I personally don't think do photo sharing very well at all.

Plus I really hate the 'black' look! I know I've flirted with a dark grey background here on my blog, but you have to try things before you can know for sure if you like them or not. I know for sure I love white space, fact!

So those are my thoughts, what are yours?

Emma, x

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29 comments

  1. I know!! I was totally shocked and flummoxed (how do you spell that word?!) and all I could think of is why? The constant need for change when something works perfectly well!!! I really find that black is too heavy for art-work and photography, to look best it should sit in white or pale grey like you say.....

    I had the same shock with hotmail the other week too - what's going on. Pinterest is great and I could get lost in there forever, it's a little scarey and I've only just joined it myself, so I still need to get to grips with that too.....

    Long comment - whoops! Maybe we'll get used to flickr changes. Last time they changed things on there it took me ages to figure out where my mail was!!?

    Amelia.x

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  2. Totally agree! They have nearly lost me for good!

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  3. I agree also! It looks awful!! and I don't know if I can face trying to figure it out.

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  4. I hate it - I'm struggling to work out how to do the most basic operations, I don't understand the pricing structure and I miss the white.
    I hope they listen to the feedback

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  5. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on it. I don't like it at all. The primary thing for me; it looks popular-cheap now, in my view, and I used Flickr 'semi-professional' if you will. I used it to show what I am doing and some new illustration work.
    So what do you all think? Do you have suggestions for alternatives?

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  6. I have seriously thought about joining up to Flickr over the past weeks since beginning my blog - now I will really think twice about it after all.
    I am so sorry that the changes they have made are disappointing to so many and do hope they listen to their critics and work at bringing about satisfactory resolutions. Joy x

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  7. Oh I'm so glad it's not just me! I hate the huge images crowding the page, the black background, and the loss of the cheery hello in a random language. The main page is mainly taken up with the most recent photos uploaded by my Flickr friends; I have to click on my name to get to my own photostream. I do not like it at all, and won't be paying for the pro version anymore.

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  8. Further to the above, it seems that Flickr pro doesn't exist any more, anyway. So can't even protest by taking away my monies because it's all free now. Pah.

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  9. Yes I can't agree with you more... also images seem so slow to load for me.

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  10. I absolutely agree, I really hope they do think about the changes again. Visually it looks bad. Black? What were they thinking? Oh... and the list goes on.

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  11. I agree. It's a shame not to see the thumbnails and descriptions on the opening page. It does feel cluttered now. The only way to really see the screen as it was before is to select edit, but of course no one else can see this! It was a surprise. I think if people had the choice of going to the old viewing screen from the homepage it would help, and perhaps a choice of whether to use a white or black light box. But we will just have to wait and see what happens next. There sure is a lot of comments on the flickr blog! Heather

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  12. I am yet another person disappointed with the new look. It is too bling, in your face. I liked having the medium to small images with the sets to the side. And I agree the older version looked more professional, the new look looks cheap. I feel my pictures are drowned out by the black.. but I tend to not like black ever. Uggh..sign of disappointment. Shannon

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  13. Yes I agree! At first I was kind of excited hoping they added more features but really only a new look.
    Sometimes I wish it would all slow down. Why on earth do we constantly need to be changing things?! It was user friendly before - I think they made a huge mistake on this one.

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  14. Not digging the black at all. And it feels downright claustrophobic with the too large images etc etc.

    Feels like they've completely ditched all that used to be good about Flickr. I don't think they realize that it used to be 'social' already. Now it's just too in your face and I think I'll probably spend less time on Flickr now. :-/

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  15. I'm undecided Emma, not sure about the crowded feel and the black, maybe I'll get used to it but I'm not sure.

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  16. I totally agree with you. I'm less in shock now than I was a couple of days ago. I'm still trying to figure out how to do things. It took me a while to find certain things. I think the black is one of the most shocking things. It pushes everything down, the photos no longer get space to breath.

    The thing which annoyed me the most is that they changed it out of nowhere. People who use the forum regurally must've known, but for someone who doesn't use the forum (me, for example) it was very unexpected. They should've installed a small tutorial or an announcement where they show parts of the new layout.

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  17. I'm not liking the new look at all and I only opened an account on flickr this week. I'm really disappointed with the changes as I don't enjoy black backgrounds at all.

    After reading advice on the forums there I've opened an account with ipernity.com It looks nice! It's similar to old style flickr in design and you can import your flickr photos easily if you have certain browsers I think. (IE not included so I'm doing mine by hand.)

    It's a French and German site but it runs in English and I like it so far. I'll wait and see but if flickr doesn't change I will close my account there. In any case I won't be browsing on there anymore as it is just too difficult. Lots of people having difficulty loading the page as their internet is too slow.

    Apparently no one knew, that is what people on the forums are saying and partly what has annoyed them so much.

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  18. I am very upset since this Monday:( I did not like this new look...

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  19. After I got over the shock of seeing my carefully crafted page look so utterly different, I think I really like it. It's very clean and I like seeing a stream of so many good sized images...but I HATE the black - I wish we had an option to choose the background colour - and I agree it would be good to make comments, titles, descriptions etc more visible and more an integral part of the image. But I'm definitely staying put - I have so many years worth of content on there and have made so many lovely connections, they are worth too much to me.

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  20. I hadn't been to Flickr in a couple of weeks, but have now visited thanks to your post. I totally agree. It looks to amateur now with all those photos crammed together on the photostream page. And the black background on the single photos is awful. What on earth were they thinking?

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  22. I agree with all your points - I dislike the mosaic effect of my images, the black (you wouldn't view art on black walls), the sets - especially the weird cropping of the cover image, and it's impossible for a non-user to find profile information - shop, blog etc. And the 'right click copy' is very bad.

    I am keeping my account, but I doubt I will use it anymore - I have not visited at all this week!

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  23. Yep, I was bummed. I promptly closed my pro account to get the partial refund, figuring that was a way of voting. It looks like you were able to make your background white, Emma? I'm going to go see if I can figure that out.

    I'm mostly sad that they made comments much harder to find and see. That was what made Flickr special.

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  24. I'm shocked, I admit that I don't hate the new look... but it's not intuitive at all, I can't find the old options, I miss the thumbnails! I liked to see the comments and sharing options...

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  25. I agree! Not liking it too much at all... the images are far too big and in my face...

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  26. I agree wholly with you and I do so hate the black!

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  27. The old Flickr engine is still hidden under the new bling. You only have to add ?details=1 to the url for a persons photostream to see the photos spaced out on white with details under them. But the moment you move off that photostream you are back to the black.

    So many photo people want this view but they refuse to add it as an option, and refuse to say why.

    It will be interesting to see what happens at the Yahoo annual shareholders meeting today.

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