So Refresh and So Clean
More changes from Flickr, which has kicked into high gear so far in 2012 in order to drag the still-popular photo sharing site out of the early aughts. Today the company announced that the main photo page will now show hi-res images in a “liquid” layout, so that the size of the photos will change according to the browser size.
Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
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!
Markus Spiering has, as they say, a good eye. Most of his resume was in mobile before he became a senior product manager for Flickr. In March 2011, he slipped into the head product role, lording over Flickr’s 45 or so employees. “”I have the pleasure to run product management for one of the most exciting web sites in the world: Flickr,” he says on his website. He’s in town for the Photo Hack Day hackathon this weekend, the first small sign of what could be the company’s reinvigorated interest in its audience.
Mr. Spiering is very happy to be making extensive changes to the Flickr interface, the first of which will roll out next week, as he explained in a meeting with Betabeat, Yahoo’s Jason Khoury, and Flickr.com, looking pretty on Mr. Spiering’s Macbook Air.
Mr. Spiering moused over the current photo view. “This is very typical of Flickr,” he said. “Lots of white space, small photos, lots of information around.”
He then opened a new tab to show the spread, completely revamped. Suddenly the photos look more than four times their current size and lie neatly justified on the page, somehow jigsawing together without cropping or changing the order in which they appear.
The new photo view will hit on Feb. 28, Mr. Spiering said, and with it comes a new upload interface. Flickr’s uploading page now looks more like an app than a website. Goodbye, retro blue links. Hello, swoopy drag-and-drop.