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Flickr’s New Look Gets Early Rave Reviews

flickr leap laurenlemon Flickrs New Look Gets Early Rave Reviews

(flickr.com/renolauren via the Flickr blog)

Flickr has started rolling out those major changes we told you about, and the early reviews are glowing. The “contacts” screen where Flickr shows new photos from your Flickr friends used to look like a tiled bathroom wall that was mostly caulking; the photos were tiny and there was a ton of white space. Now photos are larger and each row is neatly justified to span the width of the screen, filling in the white space without cropping or altering any individual photo. It’s a simple change, but it’s the most significant makeover Flickr’s had in years.

As Flickr explained:

We created this new view to make it easier to see the stories your friends are telling with their photos. While the previous layout choices are still available, the new design optimizes for seamlessly displaying more images at larger sizes, so you can see more of the activity from contacts, friends and family at once.

Needless to say, our Justified layout always respects the aspect ratio of the original image and will never crop your photos. We’ve also added quick access to comment on and fave directly on photos in this view.

Flickr will be rolling out the new view to all its users this week. The initial response from the photo site’s often-critical crowd: delight!

“THE NEW FLICKR PHOTOS FROM YOUR CONTACTS PAGE LOOKS AWESOME,” screamed photographer, Flickr power user and Yahoo ankle-biter Thomas Hawk in a blog post.

new flickr Flickrs New Look Gets Early Rave Reviews

Flickr will make the justified view available on other pages soon, the company said, and is the first phase of the redesign that will incrementally roll out in the first half of 2012. In an interview, Flickr head of product Markus Spiering shied away from calling the redesign “New Flickr,” but the company slips up and uses the phrase in its blog post.

The main complaint about Flickr’s new look seems to be that it’s unoriginal. Users accused the startup of copying 500px and TravelZoo, among others. “Flickr Gets a Makeover, Looks Like Pinterest,” writes Mashable. Maybe it just looks more like 2012 than, say, 2005?

Meanwhile, Flickr has launched a campaign to get its users to take photos of themselves jumping for joy; but because of the leap year, not the redesign.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com