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Instagram versus Flickr

So most people who read the news should be aware of the new Instagram terms of service by now (if not, read the linked boingboing article). Its resulted in quite a bit of outrage on twitter and other social networks (here is Wil Wheaton on the fiasco). I deleted my account yesterday.

What’s most interesting (as in co-incidental) is Flickr’s new iPhone app was released only a few days ago. Now I’ve used Flickr for years. I upload photos I take on my DLSR to the site and I pay for an account (you get extra upload privileges and so forth). Paying a fee for a service like this makes sense. Flickr is of course a much more comprehensive photo sharing site than Instagram ever was. It used to be the (and to some extent still is) the professional or semi-professional photographer’s go-to site for photo sharing. Professional photo-editing applications like Lightroom and Aperture have plug-ins that allow direct integration from them into Flickr (iPhoto has it built in, as does Aperture now too).

But Flickr was dying under the ownership of Yahoo. Already the most popular camera type on the site were various types of iPhone. Their old iPhone app sucked, and many of the third-party alternatives were not much chop. Flickr, if they had acted earlier, could have totally ruled the photo-social application space. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram started to eat into Flickr’s market. But only last week, Flickr released a new iPhone app and it is truly great! I already started to use it on my iPhone, experimenting with using my phone as a serious camera (‘the best camera you’ve got is the one you’ve got with you’ as the saying goes). I’ll still use my DSLR of course, but I think my iPhone experiments will continue.

This Instagram TOS debacle and their new Flickr app seems to be a PR heaven for Flickr. Already people are moving over – people who’ve never used Flickr before. Their new (and great!) Flickr app made the decision to delete Instagram and its overbearing terms of service very easy. ONce I heard about it, and as soon as I got home from work yesterday, I deleted my Instagram account. Here’s a good set of instructions how to get your photos out and delete your Instagram account. Join us on Flickr.