The other night, I noticed a little link on my Flickr homepage — did I want to upgrade to the new interface? Why sure. I have to say, I like it. Given that there hadn’t been any big announcements that this was coming (a ala the new Facebook) I figured it probably wasn’t going to be that much of a change. But in some important ways, it is.
Now, the first thing I see when I hit my Flickr homepage is recent activity. That’s both on my photos (who’s commented, favorited them, tagged them, added a note, etc.) and on photos on which I have commented — that means I can more easily follow the developing conversation around a video that a friend took of new dining spaces at my library school. This information was available previously, but this change really puts the social aspect front and center. Of course, there are those of us who were already using it as a social tool to a certain extent, but I think this will make it more obvious to other folks. (The social aspect of Flickr is something that seems to puzzle people when I am explaining what it is and why it’s so much better than whatever online service is provided by your camera manufacturer.)
I can also see a small line graph of daily views of all my photos, and when I click through on that I get a more detailed breakdown of which photos have been viewed recently. Again, this was available before (I believe) but it wasn’t front and center. Now I know that a photo I took of a Loyola building in January was viewed 7 times yesterday. (Welcome, freshmen.) And I also know that this photo of a ballband dishcloth has been viewed more than 14,000 times since I uploaded it on 11/18/06. (I blame Ravelry, and also the incredible popularity of this pattern among a certain type of knitter.)
When I scroll down on my homepage, I can still see the 8 most recent uploads from my contacts (I believe previously on the homepage you only saw 6; that or the thumbnails were smaller). And below that, the four most recent photos from one of my groups are displayed. (Not sure how the group is picked – randomly? Last one I added to?)
There’s still a small box highlighting a recent post on the Flickr blog, and there’s another little box with a rotating announcement. The really neat thing is that I can manually refresh that little box and cycle through a handful of announcements and helpful info. I know this is not really an unusual feature, but I like the little icon they’ve made to indicate that you can do this. (In nerdspeak — I am fond of this design pattern.)
Anyway, that’s that. Flickr users should keep an eye out for that little link (not sure if they are slowly rolling it out or if it’s available for everyone). Oh, I should mention that there’s an entertaining little interlude while your homepage rearranges itself, too. I thought it really captured Flickr’s friendly/funny vibe.