Why, despite Flickr's improvements, Instagram still wins my heart
Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:43 AM
Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:04 AM
Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:41 AM
I'm not pro-Instagram, for whatever that's worth, but at least some of this is no longer true. Any person's account can now be accessed at instagram.com/username using any browser, where you will find a landing page with a feed of their photos that can be browsed. There's still no way to get to your photos in their organizing folders, as far as I am aware.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:45 AM
As a photographer Flickr has never lost inertia for me. My serious photographer friends there are in large still using the service exactly the same as always. I think the service lost inertia with casual photo sharers as Facebook's popularity grew and with those looking for a quicker and more convenient mobile solution. Flickr did drop the ball concerning that sort of user but for those of us not interested in viewing mobile snap shots there, I think it's actually improved the quality of content on the site.
As far as technical specs, there's no doubt instagram is faster and easier for uploading a photo. Photographically speaking though I really enjoy the preserved aspect ratio of the Flickr app, I also enjoy the two layout options for viewing my contacts' photos. In regards to the blurry thumbnails I have to disagree, mine are crystal clear on my iPhone 5 and I checked on my wife's 4S where they are clear as well. Not sure why you're getting blurry versions, perhaps a connectivity problem or something?
One of the greatest things about the new Flickr app is access to groups. The ability to post to them, view the photostream and interact in the group forums via mobile is a huge advancement for Flickr. I've observed activity in the groups I'm a part of increasing a lot since the new app was released. The push notifications of the Flickr app are also much more varied and reliable than those of instagram.
For those who do want to upload mobile shots to flickr it's nice they won't be limited to a square crop which rarely flatters any subject, they'll also have better geotgagging, organizational options and higher resolution sharing to other networks. When sharing to Facebook for example a 2048px image is sent to the service instead of the tiny 612px image instagram sends (which looks like a thumbnail on a retina display mac). There are also filters that in my opinion are better than instagram's, if adding a filter is something you just have to do.
I think there's room for both and depending on the type of shooter you are they can both have drastically different uses. I don't think Flickr intended to make an instagram killer, I think the tech journalists put that label on it. I think they made a wonderful up to date app for those of us who like to browse quality photos not compromised by the limitations of mobile phones but with the option to share from them if so desired. I get quality interaction and comments on Flickr, on instagram it's typically just someone tapping like, which has little value to me. I think interaction amongst photographers on Flickr is a lot higher than that of casual photo sharers, which explains why instagram is better for you in that regard.
My opinion is that they're two completely separate realms with a few similar capabilities in common and each has their own place in the modern photo sharing world.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:44 PM
I use Flickr and FaceBook and Picasa to host photos online, and I use SnapSeed + iPhoto (on my iPad) and Aperture + Photoshop (on my iMac) to edit. I've never used Instagram because I like "quality" photos -- yes, even those taken on my iPad3. With me the critical point is cost... or more accurately: NO COST. My Flickr account is FREE, and so is FaceBook. If I want to share in other ways, I can use iCloud or DropBox. Why pay to share photos these days, especially if you're not a professional?
But like the author I've almost entirely stopped using Flickr, yet for different reasons. I don't want to pay. So as my photos on Flickr approach 200 (the limit for free accounts), I am not uploading any new photos because I refuse to pay for Pro. Furthermore, I found Flickr to be idiotic compared to Picasa, and especially compared to FaceBook, insofar as the maximum pixel dimension Flickr allowed Freeloaders like me to upload was restricted to 1024px! (After reading this article, I investigated and it appears that Flickr raised the pixel limit to 2048px for Freeloaders, which is nice; but I'm still up against my 200 photo limit.)
If Flickr would bump the photo limit a tad for FREE accounts, I would use it more. Honestly, I love Flickr more than Picasa for the detailed text descriptions it allows you to add, with Bold and Italic text to boot!
Go ahead and argue the "business model of Pro accounts" all you like. But as a user, I couldn't care less about that. I am a penny-pinching selfish freebie-seeker like most people. Think about it. Do you think FaceBook would be the success it is today had it charged users for its service? Not on your life.
We The People tend to choose whichever services gives us the most for free. And in this economy, such is only logical.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:16 AM