Alternatives to flickr

I have been a Pro user of flickr for some time. It has until now been the simplest way to manage, share and publish images. That is until somebody at Yahoo let their five year old have a go at designing a new interface. At best the new interface is simply unusable.

At the outset, I have to say that after much searching, there isn’t really a direct replacement for flickr. In dumping flickr you will to some extent need to review what your image hosting and sharing needs really are. It could be time to change your image workflow. If you switch from flickr this is almost certainly going to be forced on you, but it may not be such a bad thing.

Some of the options, in no particular order:

Google Plus

google plus
Many people have been suggesting Google’s newish Photos app within Google Plus is the way to go. This is the latest reincarnation of the old Picassa web albums, which never really matched the old beautiful flickr.

I have used the desktop app Picassa for some time to mange images on my desktop. (There is a neat little plugin for uploading images to flickr!!), and perhaps for some Google Plus Photos is a viable alternative to flickr.

Though I would be cautious to rely on Google, given the recent dumping of the beloved Reader app.


SmugMug has been around a while and is used by many photographers for managing online portfolios. Plans start at $40/year.


PhotoBucket is suggested by many, but personally I’m put off by the dominance of ads that appear everywhere. Not sure if there is a pro version which turns these off?


500px   Popular Photos
Claims to be “The world’s best photo sharing”. 500px is aimed more towards showcasing your work with an online portfolio. It has two pro levels, one at $25/year and the other at $75/year. You can also buy/sell prints in the marketplace.


ipernity  Explore   What s hot

ipernity, despite its odd name probably comes closest to being a flickr clone, though it doesn’t have the scale of flickr. Club membership level is £19.99 per year.

Your Own Photography Web Site

Grid Portfolio — Fluxus

Why rely on people like yahoo or Google to host all your images? Another viable alternative is to use something like WordPress to host and manage your images. Certainly this would be a great way to show-off your work with one of the great photography focussed themes available. This is clearly less social than flickr, but may fit your particular needs, particularly if you are photographer looking to profile your work.

Of course if you need some help creating the most incredible photography web site, we can help. Get in touch.

Summing Up

OK so there is no real alternative to flickr. You have two options: (1) change the way you work and try one of the alternatives above, or; (2) stick around with flickr and hope somebody gets hired who can bring it back to life.

4 thoughts on “Alternatives to flickr

  1. I’ve fell in love with Flickr when I joined in 2006. I’d say the update was long overdue, and even more than that, they’ve made me fall in love with it all over again. What is it about the new interface that you find “unusable”?

  2. It may have been due an update. But what they have done is make flickr something totally different and done it very very badly. A few reasons why it just isn’t fit for purpose:

    1. It is so so slow. The new design is an attempt to “look” impressive by filling the users view with images. The downside is that it takes forever to load unless you have a huge bandwidth. This is poor for visitors and even worse for a user’s workflow . Posting new images and reviewing them now takes forever.

    2. Shocking UX design. An example: and again partly to do with workflow – you cannot see image titles and descriptions in your photo stream until you hover over them. In the old flickr you could even edit them in situ, which was one of the most coolest ground-breaking features (speaking as a web dev).

    3. Then if I force myself to assume that others think that a screen full of images is cool (because I don’t), then why is it that the old interface lurks everywhere (in groups for example), making the whole thing look like a real mess. But also providing a constant reminder of the great usability of the old flikr compared to the new.

    I could go on and on but from my point of view it is totally unusable and I am not the only one. There are very few who love it. Perhaps those that are “re-discovering” flickr are doing so because it is now becoming something else. Those who were avid users are leaving (or wanting to) in their droves because it no longer does what it did when we chose the platform as the one of choice.

    • Yes, there are clearly lots of anomalies still – some parts of the site being refreshed and some not being the main example, and yes I agree that having tit;es and descriptions visible and editable was indeed a great feature. But as a fairly heavy user myself (I’d not stopped using it!) I am mostly impressed. Actually for me, the main problem is the way “collections” have been increasingly sidelined. That was already happening before the latest update.

      I guess each of us have different ways of using the tools we use.

      • As someone who enjoys viewing photos, I agree with Tim 100%. There are some photogs on Flickr whose work I regularly kept up with but since the changes, I can’t be bothered. Flickr is now, by far, the slowest and most unusable image display site. I may not like the look of Tumblr but at least it works. I may be strange but for me, the whole point is *enjoying* the viewing experience – something that rarely happens with the current Flickr setup