Flickr gets a huge redesign, now includes auto-upload feature and image recognition

8 May 2015

One-time king of the image-hosting websites, Flickr, wants back on the throne, and will make a fresh run for relevance with a major top-to-bottom redesign and series of new features.

The Yahoo!-owned app has unveiled a number of changes across all platforms, making it easier, the company says, for users to upload, view, organise, edit and share their photos and videos. The new ‘Auto-Uploadr’ feature, for example, collects images scattered across users’ devices – as well as any new ones they snap – and uploads them to a private photo album, helping to clear out pics cluttering up their phone’s memory.

Maybe most interesting, though, is the introduction of new image recognition technology, that will, in theory, improve the accuracy of search results. So let’s say you search for ‘Santa Claus’, you’ll get images that feature the man himself in them, not just files that contain the words ‘Santa Claus’. This technology, called ‘Magic View’, is also being used by Flickr in its new ‘Camera Roll’ feature. Now the app can identify the content of users’ photos to organise them into more than 60 categories, like landscapes, animals, screenshots, panoramas and black and white, for example.

Flickr's redesign will include an auto uploader

Flickr’s redesign will include an auto uploader

“Today, we’re introducing a number of exciting tools, as well as a complete refresh to our mobile apps, that will help you take advantage of the 1,000 GB of free space we gave you in 2013,” wrote Tim A. Miller, Flickr’s head of engineering, in a blog post.

“We’ve made the new Flickr consistent across devices and platforms so that you can enjoy the same amazing experience whether you’re looking at a lifetime of images or videos on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Android, or on the web,” he added.

Flickr was the first platform that allowed users to share photos in a widespread manner, but has seen the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter eat away at its audience. Earlier this year, the company released an infographic to celebrate its 10th anniversary.


Flower image via Shutterstock


Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic