Google’s Flickr Killer

… or why Yahoo needs to buy a desktop photo managing app, pronto.

I’ve been using Flickr for a while now – I even have a Pro account (I previously used smugmug). I also use Picasa to manage my photos (having tried several versions of Adobe’s Photoshop Album). I like Picasa’s simplicity, instant image fix-ups, and Gmail integration (for major alterations, I use Photoshop CS2). However, getting images into my Flickr account is a major operation. I can use Flickr’s Upload Tool to store my images on Flickr, but I usually like to crop, color-correct or otherwise fix my photos before showing them. So after fixing them in Picasa, I must export them to a new folder, which I must then upload to Flickr.

Ideally, Picasa would upload to Flickr, making tagging, editing and arranging files a breeze. I doubt Google will do that, though (Picasa doesn’t even upload to third-party blogs, limiting itself to Google’s own Blogger service).

Google has been recently testing an online photo storage and album service: Picasa Web Albums. While it’s still no Flickr, its integration with Picasa is a killer feature and Yahoo/Flickr should take notice. I expect it will eventually integrate with Google Maps/Earth for geotagging, and Checkout for selling your photos, among other Google services. Once Picasa Web is out of beta there really shouldn’t be any reason for Picasa users to keep using Flickr. We all know how long Google’s betas last, so there’s still time for Yahoo to catch-up, but the ball is certainly flying out of the stadium.

Comment in you have any suggestions on which software Yahoo should buy.

  • Well, I am a huge fan of Picasa. I mean, I use flickr only because I wanted to have that cool flickr thingy (technical term…) on my website. Other than that, I would love to see google come out with an extensive, indexible, tagable online photo storage system.

  • True. Flickr’s API (Application Programming Interface or “Magic Glue”) is certainly one of it’s strong points and Google would have to come up with something similar (or better). Google’s experience with the Gmail and Google Maps APIs, would indicate that a Picasa Web API won’t be too far off.

  • Well, I am a huge fan of Picasa. I mean, I use flickr only because I wanted to have that cool flickr thingy (technical term…) on my website. Other than that, I would love to see google come out with an extensive, indexible, tagable online photo storage system.

  • True. Flickr’s API (Application Programming Interface or “Magic Glue”) is certainly one of it’s strong points and Google would have to come up with something similar (or better). Google’s experience with the Gmail and Google Maps APIs, would indicate that a Picasa Web API won’t be too far off.

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