Monday, July 28, 2008

A comparison of Photo Sharing Services

Flickr revolutionized the photo-sharing sites. It was certainly one of the most innovative web 2.0 sites back in 2005 (when I just joined a few months before yahoo acquired the company). The its API allowed people to share and find photos easily using tags. And this in turn foster a community on the site. Allowing only the most recent 200 pictures to be shown, however, is a very big flaw in what is otherwise a great free service.

Since then, other companies have taken a look at Flickr's capabilities and copied the same format without the 200 photos limit.

Here are the comparison of the possible free Flickr alternatives.

I used Firefox to create accounts for testing.

I was unable to create an account as I was stuck at sign-up page. I believed this has something to do with the website compatibility with firefox which by the way is one of the most popular browser on the net. Since I cannot get an account, zoomr gets zero.

Rating: 0/5

I'm not exactly sure whether I typed my email address incorrectly, for 12 hours a week later I have yet to receive any email for me to confirm my account. Since I cannot login, I can only give it a zero.

Rating: 0/5

Of all the sites tested, Shutterfly is the most different. It has gallery where you can share your photobooks (note: photobooks not photos) but there aren't groups like in flickr where people with similar interest can join. To be more precise, it is a printing site. Through the site, you can create and order calenders, photobooks, and small gifts. You can also order prints of your photos for a certain amount of money.

Shutterfly offers unlimited storage for unlimited amount of photos. The interface for uploading the photos is easy and fast. What is interesting is the simple but useful click and drag interface. You can create an album and drag the photos you want to the album you want. You can also repositioned the photos simply by dragging them.

However, you can only share photos with other people if you invite with an email.

Final comments: Fantastic website that works great for organizing stuff. However it is not blogging or sharing friendly. On the other hand, I would say it protects copyrights of the user (unlike flickr =/) Recommended for people who would like an all in one site with printing capability.

Rating: 4/5

Photobucket is a good services for posting random images. It isn't until recently when that their system went into an overhaul that it became more friendly to photos. Photobucket does not offer any resizing of its photos. What it does have is a 25gb monthly worth of bandwidth and 1gb worth of photos for you upload. It also allows you to see the monthly hits for your photos.

Underneath each image are the code that you can paste on to a blog or a forum. This makes it easy to the people who blog.

Photobucket is extremely user-friendly. What you see is what you get.

Rating: 3/5

ipernity is like an exact copy of flickr with less restriction on censorship, upload limit and photo limit. You can upload up to 200mb every month and there are no limits to the number of photos you have in the photostream. It also has a variety of ways for you to upload your photos (zip file, java application etc) which are rather innovative.

Apart from that you can also download a basic uploader to aid you in uploading those pesky little photos. What I like best is the plugin to import all the photos from Flickr to ipernity. However, this plugin only works for firefox 2.0.

Rating: 4/5

Owned by Google, Picasa is free for all google users. As expected of google, it has 1gb of space for users to upload all the photos they want. If you have blogs, you will find that your picasa account has albums for the blog that you have uploaded photos for. Picasa also has a basic program where you can edit and upload your photos easily.

You can share your photos with other people easily by making your album public. There is also a function where you can fave anyone to monitor what photos they posted etc.

Rating: 3/5


For the free account at 23, you can upload 300 photos in the first month. For the subsequent months, however, you can only upload 30 photos per month.

It is also blogging friendly. There are several sizes that you can use, from mini to large, even a size for moblog. It has all functions that Flickr has but for the photo limit.

Rating: 3.5/5

I personally like ipernity and shutterfly a lo. I will be using ipernity from now on.

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