I had a comment made by someone that they were sad I have now stopped posting (mostly) to flickr.
I know you will know by now I am a big fan of Google+ – but a reason why has now actually occurred to me!
Facebook is the social network, and it can’t be denied that G+ hasn’t been quite as successful as Google would like (although that may change – I remember everyone saying MySpace was the bees knees and Facebook was the new boy and a bit uncool)… but Facebook seriously lacks in one area:
Facebook doesn’t do photos. Period.
Yes, you may THINK Facebook does photos, but when you are a photographer who posts pictures of the order of size of 4000 pixels along the longest edge you realise just how poor Facebook’s photo engine really is. It’s displays of photos are weak, and it’s security of the said photos (and in particular Facebook’s own sharing and syndication policies) borders on the ridiculous.
Flickr, on the other hand, had the edge on the photography front. OK, so it took them ages to get a lightbox working properly, and the interface was good for the day, however, flickr has a serious problem – it is now lagging sorely behind Picasa on many features; and Google’s purchase of Picnik has possibly damaged Flickr even more. Flickr’s main problem, however, is sharing with non flickr members – it’s clunky and to make any comments you need a Flickr account. Most people who don’t actually care about photography and just want to see the odd pretty picture won’t bother with a flickr account and so can’t socially interact with your photos.
Google+ didn’t even bother trying to create a photo engine. Google already owned one – and possibly now the best of the bunch. Picasa has existed for many years, and where flickr fails, Picasa pwns. Picasa has the incredibly cool piece of software that sits on a Windows or Linux desktop and makes it all happen – but when you’re away from the desktop – the online uploader and editor is still pretty tozzin.
Most people, also, already have a G+ account – or at least a Google account – just because of Youtube or Blogger – so when you send them the share link they get dropped into G+ and can see all photos shared with them – in a very nice environment to view them, compete with lightbox! If they’re signed into their Google Account they can comment and interact with your photos… and you can easily allow them downloads.
So you may ask why I didn’t move earlier?
Well… cost. Picasa was traditionally very expensive. It’s still not as cheap as flickr – especially as on flickr you get unlimited space for your money. Google and Picasa requires Google Storage to have any serious amount of space, and Google Storage has always been rather pricey – until about a year and a half ago when 80 gig of storage suddenly dropped below the $30 mark.
So I will leave it to you to make up your own mind which you use.