Flickr now allows its visitors to quickly login or create an account on the popular Yahoo!-owned photo sharing site using their Facebook account. Yahoo! became an OpenID relying partner earlier this week, and now appears to be rolling out the reduced friction new user on-boarding process to its sites. Since Flickr users can instantly share their links for their public photo uploads to Facebook, Flickr may see more referral traffic. However, Flickr may also experience decreased direct visits since users won’t have to check the site to see if friends have added new photos.
Once users have created a Flicker account using their Facebook credentials, they can visit their Flickr account settings to connect the two accounts via Yahoo! Updates. This allows users to automatically share their Flickr activity to their Facebook feed, and use their Facebook profile picture as their Yahoo! public photo.
Photos uploaded to Flickr don’t appear to be syncing to Facebook just yet, so it’s unclear exactly how they’ll appear in the news feed or in a user’s photo albums. Feed stories might look similar to the ones posted by the sync feature for sharing photos to Facebook that Flickr released in June. The ability to simultaneously post Flickr photos into your Facebook Photos albums, not just share a story about the upload, would be a much more useful tool but also one that would eliminate much of the need to browse Flickr at all.
Facebook is the world’s most popular photo sharing site thanks to its friend tagging feature. Still, many professional photographers preferred to use Flickr to display their work because it allowed high-resolution uploads while Facebook didn’t — until recently. In an effort to win over serious photographer, Facebook dramatically revamped its Photos product in September, adding high-res uploads, bulk tagging, and a light box viewing mode. It has since premiered additional new technologies, including facial recognition tagging suggestions and drag-and-drop photo and album reordering.
With Facebook touting these new features, Flickr reinforcing its connection to the social network, and photography becoming more about sharing with friends than hoarding ones memories, Flickr could have trouble proving its added value.
Update: The feature now appears to be working. It took eight hours for the news feed story about my photos being posted to Flickr yesterday to appear on Facebook, but now the delay is down to just a few minutes. The feed story displays a thumbnail of one uploaded photo, with a “See More” link that reveals thumbnails of additional photos. When users click one of the thumbnails or the “Visit Flickr” action link, users are brought to the uploader’s Flickr Photostream.
Since the photos don’t appear in a user’s Facebook albums and can’t be viewed within Facebook, the integration should not be perceived as victory of Facebook Photos over Flickr.