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the shock of the new... Flickr

emma lamb

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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