Flickr is a popular photo-sharing and hosting service with advanced and powerful features. It supports an active and engaged community where people share and explore each other's photos. You can share and host hundreds of your own pictures on Flickr without paying a dime. There's also a pro service that gets you unlimited storage and sharing for about $2 a month, making it one of the cheapest hosting sites around (more on that later).
Flickr was created by a small Canadian development team in 2002 before being acquired by Yahoo a year later. Many other photo sites (including Yahoo Photos) are easier to use, but none offer Flickr's interesting features or its cohesive community of enthusiasts.
Adding your photos to Flickr
First step: Get your photos into the service. Flickr has a few options to get photos from your camera into your account, the easiest one being a little uploader app you can install on your PC or Mac (there's also a Linux version.) When it's installed on a PC, you can right-click on any photo and send it straight to Flickr. You also can use this uploader to create albums (Flickr calls albums sets) for your pictures. You can install software that lets you publish from any folder in Windows XP, without the need to use the uploading program. If you're using a Mac, there's also a plug-in for iPhoto.
If you're not keen on downloading a piece of software, Flickr lets you upload six individual photos at a time. This might work for some weekend shots, but if you've got more than 20 shots it's worth trying out the batch uploader. We recommend using the downloader software, or if you've got Yahoo's Widgets Engine installed, the latest version comes with a widget that doubles as a photo viewer and uploading tool.
Continue reading to learn how to tag and organize photos, add notes, geotag, create albums, find out if you need a premium membership, and our list of Flickr users worth checking out.
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