Beginner's Guide to What is Flickr and How It Works

Beginner's Guide to What is Flickr and How It Works

The internet seems like a beautiful space, colorful with a wide variety of images and videos that allows every one of us to have our fill. But, do you know where all these exciting images and video contents come from?

Yes, there surely are countless individuals who upload them on a daily basis on various platforms including the latest social media platforms and other image and video sharing platforms, which further encourages the uploader and brings their content in front of the masses.

Flickr is one of the big names when it comes to image and video sharing platforms. Founded back in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake of Ludicorp and headquartered in San Francisco, California, U.S, Flickr has changed multiple ownerships but has never dropped from relevance for the internet users the world over. However, the celebrated image and video sharing platform has seen a severe drop in its revenues lately due to the user base, which is mostly based out of free users.

Flickr is currently owned by SmugMug since April 20, 2018 and has proudly hosted more than 112 million registered members that also back in June 2015.

Read this StartupTalky article below to know more about Flickr, its Business Model, Features, Sharing, Tips, and more.

What is Flickr?
Flickr Business Model
Features on Flickr
Tagging and Organizing
Flickr - Sets
Flickr - Collections
Flickr - Sharing
Free Flickr vs Pro Flickr
Tips for beginners to get the most out of Flickr
Flickr - FAQs

What is Flickr?

Flickr is an popular American image-hosting and video-hosting platform and hosting service with some advanced and powerful features. Flickr can be defined as a social network where users can create a free account and upload their own photos (and videos) to share with friends and followers online. Flickr also has a pro service where you can get an unlimited storage, making it one of the cheapest hosting sites around.

Flickr was founded in Canada and created by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. Launched on February 10, 2004, it has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, US.

Flickr Architecture| Presentation
Flickr Architecture| Presentation

Flickr Business Model

Flickr works as a B2C platform and a freemium business model. The platform offers its basic features for its customers for free. However, in case they need to avail additional features, then the customers can go for:

  • Monthly plan - Chargeable at $7.99/month.
  • Annual plan - Chargeable at $5.99/month.
  • 3-Month Pro - Chargeable at $21.99 per 3 months.

Key Partners

Flickr’s key partners consist of Yahoo parent company, Verizon Communications, which acquired the company back in 2005 and others.

Key Activities

Flickr encourages numerous activities that the users can take part in, including photo sharing, video sharing, photo and video hosting, browsing through its wide collection of photos and videos and more.

Value Propositions

Find your inspiration, Free basic photo sharing, Premium photo sharing and more that the users can find while using Flickr are among some of the value propositions offered by the platform.

Customer Relationships

Flickr provides online communities and other groups on numerous social media and other platforms to improve customer relationships. The platform also offers numerous other options to flag a particular content and make it public or private.

Customer Segments

Flickr includes casual users, advertisers, entrepreneurs, developers, and other business professionals, who use the platform for their regular usage.


Flickr channels can be categorized under:

  • App marketplaces
  • Android
  • iOS
  • APIs.

Features on Flickr

Like any other media platform, Flickr has a wide range of features that are very important for everyone to understand to navigate the platform comfortably.

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1. Profile

Just like almost all the people have their profiles on Facebook/Instagram, they can also create their profiles under the Profile option on Flickr.

We can think of Flickr Gallery like that we have our “photo albums” on Facebook. The key difference between Facebook albums and Flickr’s Gallery is that we can add other users’ media to our gallery.

For instance, suppose you like a certain photographer and you want to showcase the work in your gallery. You can do so by adding them to the Gallery of Flickr.

3. Photostream

Your Photostream is a collection of media files that solely belongs to you. We can relate this to Facebook. In Facebook we have two options we can decide whether we would show our media files to the public or keep them private. The same thing can be done in Flickr also. If you choose public, then the others can visit your profile and see what you have uploaded. On the other hand, if you choose private, then only you and those you have permitted will be able to view your content.

4. Albums

One interesting feature of Flickr is the Albums option, which helps them organize photos in the form of albums. This is easy for all the users who visit your profile because this way they can easily understand and identify the specific album’s photos.

This feature also greatly helps the users to organize their own photos and cut down the time they need to locate them. The Albums also help the profile of the users' ooze of the impression that their photos are organized and not jumbled up, which might also make for useful portfolios. Furthermore, it is really an effective feature for professional photographers and other businesses and business professionals to group in their photos properly even for multiple projects..

5. Faves

When you use Flickr, you might stumble upon an image that you wish to work on later and therefore, save it for the same reason. Now, if you “star” or favorite a photo on Flickr, it automatically appears in the “Faves” tab on your profile, which is another useful feature that Flickr provides its users with.

6. People

It is really fun to connect with people virtually on different platforms, and Flickr is not an exception. Yes, in case you have many friends, you can simply connect with them on Flickr.

You will be able to connect with many people on this website, similar to what you do on the other social media platforms. You can add people directly through Flickr, whose profiles are shown in your Follower/Following count on your profile.

7. Stats

Engagement is key on any media platform. Flickr offers statistics to all of them who are viewing your content and how they have found you. This is another significant feature for all of them who are just starting and want you to grow their brand or followers.

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Tagging and Organizing

Once you have uploaded a photo on Flickr you don’t need to rely on articles like any other platforms. Instead, you can use tags to categorize and search for photos. People often tag pictures with names, locations, event descriptions, and theme, for example: "Mountain", "Everest", "Cold", and "Vacation."

There are several ways to tag pictures, either one at a time or in batches. On any given picture, click the code and add a tag option on the right-hand side. Flickr lets you add up to 75 tags to each picture.

Advanced Tagging

To tag multiple photos, you can use Flickr's batch editor. For this, you can simply go to a Set (Album), click the Edit button, then Batch operations>Batch edit>Add tags.


Geotagging is a special process by which you can tag photos with the location. To Geotag any photo, click on “Place this photo on a map”, under the additional information box on the right-hand side of the paragraph. The easiest way to add a location on a photo is to search the location in the top right-hand corner. If you don't not find the location, then search on Google and paste the location in the search box.

Flickr - Sets

There are few ways to create a set on Flickr. The easiest way to create a set is to Add to set button on the top of any photo. Then, Flickr will have the list of other sets dropped down, which you have created along with an option to create a new set. You can even name the set, and then describe the set after you are done.

If you add multiple photos on the set, you need to click the Organize button on the top menu on any page on Flickr, then select “ Your set’s and collections”. Now, you need to pick any set whichever you want, and add to that. Furthermore, you can also go on to create a new one also.

You just need to note done one thing that if you are a free member, you can only add up to 3 photos, but as a pro member, you can have unlimited photos.

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Flickr - Collections

With Flickr Collections, you can add multiple sets to one collection. This feature happens to be really handy for anyone, who loves traveling or has to travel to different places all the time. The Collection feature of the app will help him or her get all the photos under one collection.

Basic Flickr Information Model
Flickr functions

Flickr - Sharing

‘Share your photos. Watch the world’ is the motto of Flickr, which was once hailed as the world’s largest photo-sharing website. Flickr is all about sharing. The reason to add tagging and other features is that other people can find and make use of those photos. Furthermore, you can also share your content on various sites including Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How to Share Photos Using Flickr

Free Flickr vs Pro Flickr

Free Pro
Upload limit 100 MB Unlimited uploads
Only 3 sets Unlimited sets
Cannot access the full version of photos Have access option
No Discounts Partner Discounts
Ads Ad-Free browsing
Stats Advanced stats
- Premier Product Support
- More partner Discounts
- Advanced Stats on Mobile
- Increased Exposure
- New 6K Photo Display Option
- 10-Minute Videos

Tips for beginners to get the most out of Flickr

If you are a beginner and you are now looking forward to start using Flickr, then here are some quick and effective tips to keep in handy:  

  • Try to select appropriate photos carefully before uploading them.
  • Make sure that you resize and compress the photos before uploading them.
  • Connect with friends, join relevant groups and most importantly, add precise and relevant tags to your photos.
  • It's always better to subscribe to your photo's comment feed.
  • Customize the privacy settings on your photos accordingly.
  • Follow the trends.
  • Help your fellow users.

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