We’re in a bit of flux right now in the photo sharing space. Flickr, the powerhouse for several years, has stagnated and in the meantime Facebook became a daily destination for most of the internet. Facebook now hosts far more photos than anywhere else, but serious photographers (both pros and hobbyists alike) are yearning for a great way to store, share, and discuss their images.
With a variety of photo sharing websites in play, it seems that photographers haven’t yet found their ideal social network.
What might 2012’s perfect photo social network look like?
My Ideal Photo Sharing/Social System
Here’s what I’d like to see. My ideal photo network…
- …is accessible via the web
- …has great native apps for iOS and Android devices.
- …has an open API so that developers can build support into other third-party apps.
- …allows for easy sharing of images in an embeddable format on the web.
- …allows for easy sharing of images via other social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc).
- …allows me to easily follow other photographers and see their latest images.
- …allows me to put said photographer contacts into arbitrary lists (so that I can categorize them).
- …allows me to specify a license for my photos.
- …has a way to view the most popular recent photos on the site.
- …allows users to setup groups around a common theme or interest, with the groups allowing for shared images and discussions.
- …provides optional integration with a professional lab so that I can sell my photos (at a price I set) as prints.
- …allows me to sell digital versions of my images.
- …allows me to create a profile page where I an introduce myself and link to my other online places.
- …doesn’t look like crap (yes, this is totally subjective, but it matters).
Right now, no single photo sharing site/network meets all of these criteria. Some come close. Arguably, Flickr is the closest, with the mobile experience being the big stumbling point. One can also debate where it resides in the “looking like crap” category, but recent updates such as the contacts page are a move in the right direction. Earlier today, Thomas Hawk argued that Google should buy Flickr. It’s an interesting thought, but with Flickr’s major shortcoming being the mobile experience, and the Google+ mobile apps being nearly worthless for photo sharing/browsing, I’m not sure that’s a perfect match.
What do you think? Did I leave any essential features off of my list? How do you want to share your images?