Flickr’s New Photo Experience Out of Beta, No More Opting Out


Flickr’s new “photo experience,” which has been in beta for the past few months, is finally live for everyone to see. While this isn’t the full-on redesign that we mentioned might be on the way, this update completely overhauls the photo pages in particular — bringing speed, functionality and aesthetic improvements.

The first point of focus for the Flickr team was speed. The new photo experience is supposedly 20x faster, meaning no more waiting between photos for all of the information to load. Click on over to the next photo and — assuming your Internet speed is sufficient — it’ll likely be loaded before you blink. It’s a dramatic improvement over earlier iterations and although a timeframe isn’t given, the speed improvements are said to be making their way to the rest of Flickr’s experience shortly.

The next point of focus for Flickr was to improve the visual hierarchy in the experience. Whereas before there was a great deal of unneeded text and information on display, the view has since been cleaned up, making sure that the title and description are presented right next to your image, bringing the story and photo together more intuitively than before.


Included below the title and description are the favorites and comments (as usual); however, Yahoo cleaned up the experience.

Icons and circular avatars take the place of a great deal of text, making the side-bar experience much cleaner and allowing you to better focus on the content; and below the favorites and comments is a tabbed section that offers you the EXIF data, related photographs and tags. Personally, I think the change in how the EXIF data is displayed is a dramatic improvement.


Instead of writing out “aperture,” “shutter speed,” “lens” and so on, Yahoo is using a nice collection of generic icons. Additionally, camera models and lenses have semi-unique icons, giving you a visual of what camera was used at a glance, rather than only the technical name. And information such as the shutter speed, focal length and so on is nicely displayed next to their correlating icons.

Overall, the redesign does a great job of laying down the framework for the more unified experience that Yahoo! is looking to give Flickr down the road. The clean design, focus on content, beautiful iconography and overall aesthetic aren’t perfect, but they’re certainly headed in the right direction.


Solid change is never made over night, especially with a platform as large and encompassing as Flickr. So, while there will without a doubt be plenty of criticism about the new design, because “it’s not [insert complaint here]” or “doesn’t offer [insert complaint here]”, the Flickr team at Yahoo! seems to be on the right track. That being said: cue fear-of-change reaction… NOW!

(via Flickr)

  • SpencerPhoto

    I’ve been using Flickr for 5 years. I really dislike the new interface. Its slowwwww (I can add more w’s to illustrate my point if you wish – So slow) and clumsy. Flickr didn’t redesign because the user interface was old – the did it because they are losing market to FB, 500px, etc. With this new design they will continue to slide….. sad. I really like the old interface. Much easier to use. I find that I dont post as much now.

  • FlickrUser SinceSevenYearsAgo

    This new design is rubbish. It’s not functional at all, all the text from the description and comments are crammed into a corner, also making the viewing experience less joyful.

    There’s no map and the “this photo is also in…” section just picks the first pictures from the groups/sets, instead of the ones before/after as it used to be.

    I couldn’t be more annoyed with this new redesign, and I’ve been using flickr since 2006.

  • Flickr User

    Rubbish. All flickr needs to do is giving a nice picture-viewing experience and making it functional. It’s regular at best in the first one and, now, completely lost the point in the second.

  • Stacy Young

    I’m usually all for change and evolution in design and usually one of the last people to gripe when a site has been redesigned but whatever they did to Flickr is not working. It’s so horrible… where do I begin.

    All of the text is the same font, same color and very jumbled. I have a very hard time making sense of the stuff in the right column next to the photo. If you have your photo in more than 9 sets and groups, you can’t see more than 9. As far as I know, there is no way to tell what groups your photos are in if you have more than fits in the column.

    The box that you open to add photos to groups is complete garbage and highly non-functional. They also removed the number that showed the total members in the group which makes it more difficult to know which group is what.

    Now when I click to see who favorited my photo, only the person’s real name shows, not the screen name. The problem with this is that the screen name was predominant before and that’s how I know most of them. Now when I view this list, it’s a bunch of names that I don’t know.

    Either this is a case of internal sabotage at Yahoo or a big case of WTF!

    Btw, I’ve been an avid user since 2008 and have welcomed all the changes until this latest change.

  • Inu Wan-wan

    I mostly agree with you…
    I don’t understand why people keep writing post after post complaining about it…. if you hate it so much, then why don’t you leave Flickr and stop complaining?

  • nemomen

    Flickr users are an incredibly change averse group. Every minor change that has ever hit the site has unleashed a torrent of vitriol.

  • Joshua Putnam

    Flickr users have often invested thousands of hours over the years organizing and tagging their content, discussing it in groups, sharing it with others.

    Even though flickr has degraded most of that functionality, they haven’t provided any easy way to port a user’s existing content elsewhere.

    Part of the anger you’re seeing is from existing users who are trapped in a system that no longer supports key functionality that worked fine just last week.

    The new site loads more slowly, makes text hard to read, and abandons many group and note features, but it has a huge captive base of users who can’t easily leave. Those users naturally want the site repaired so they don’t have to re-create what they’ve spent years building on flickr.

  • .

    Not true – the controversial May 2013 update introduced images which spanned the width of the page (at least for landscapes). For me, as with many others, the pictures come first and everything else is secondary, so I was willing to put up with the many poorly implemented features just for this breakthrough.
    Fast forward a few months, and presumably Flickr’s aim of putting “photos at the heart of your Flickr experience, where they should always be” was a temporary one, as they have since found a way to squeeze more unnecessary info in alongside the images.
    Whether it suits the experience of the average user or not is beside the point; Flickr has very clearly nailed its colours to the Social Network mast, with all the easy money and boring, formulaic web presence that it carries.

  • Ian

    Well I have. Three days to move everything to ipernity and now my Flickr is deleted. Also gone is my Yahoo Mail and Tumblr. Marissa meyer is washe right out of my hair! :))

  • Marios Savva

    I have tried to give it a shot for a little while but I can’t…

    First off the photos in landscape (not portrait) look always smaller, unless you buy
    a bigger monitor to fit the right hand column. So whoever said pictures look
    bigger is mistaken, go look at the beautiful design of 500px or even yourshot
    at National Geographic. Beautifully simple and simply beautiful.

    Focus was given to groups and comments before, and now there is no interaction that I see since they released it. Nobody seems to be using it anymore in that sense. They selectively (almost randomly) show some groups on the side panel, but when you add a photo to a new group it does not appear in that list. So why would I add a picture to a group if I can’t select it afterwards and see the group? Why do I even belong in the group in the first place?

    There are too many missing features from the last iteration. Before you could find
    any photo by opening the link of a group or context you were in and show it inside that context. Now all the links for groups (and users) take you to the top. Also, why would I want to see my latest photos at the bottom of the side panel if it’s not within the context around it? It’s useless.

    Last but not least, the CTRL+F keyboard shortcut does not work. They have blocked the ability to search in the browser. What genius at yahoo thought of that?

    I have not seen anywhere positive comments about this so I have cancelled my 8-year paid subscription with no intention of coming back at this point. Since I have paid for another year, I will continue using it as a “soft” backup, cause who knows what they will do next!

  • Mellow Jessica

    wtf is this a Yahoo press release masquerading as human-originated news content? not a single criticism or objection? just all of Yahoo’s pro-flickr redesign talking points? lame.

  • Mellow Jessica

    what would you recommend as an alternative? i’m also not in favor of the new design as a desktop user.

  • Mellow Jessica

    you are lying and speaking falsehoods.

  • Mellow Jessica

    we’re all such idiots for giving flickr 1000s of hours of our time – plus our content – just for them to molest us all in the end! :(

  • Mellow Jessica

    No it’s not more convenient.

    You are a paid astroturfing troll who’s going around promoting Flickr and seeking to delegitimize the complaints of highly-experienced, sophisticated users!

  • Mellow Jessica

    you should shut your ugly face and stop hassling other people who you disagree with!

  • Mellow Jessica

    not true.

  • Mellow Jessica

    Great example.

    And the light text on black background is offensive.

  • Inu wan-wan

    Hmm… what a hypocritical statement. Real ‘mellow’ of you, huh?

    Why you are so offended by opinions beats me.

  • nemomen

    Can you name a change in the last five years that wasn’t greeted with an angry uprising?

  • nemomen

    You’re a bit late to the party here, the update was a month ago. Have you just seen flickr’s update today?

    The update has its pluses and minuses, and the article does acknowledge that. I really dislike the missing location, and the annotations are a pain now.

  • Tracer

    Which? iOS still has the older style. I just checked.