SAN FRANCISCO--Yahoo today unveiled the first official Android Flickr app, as well as a new feature that will allow users of its popular photo service to quickly and easily share pictures in real time with family and friends.
Released at a press event here that was meant to highlight part of Yahoo's overall mobile strategy, the new Android Flickr app is the first Yahoo has released, although developers have already built dozens for both Google's and Apple's mobile operating systems. There is already an official iOS app.
Within the new Android app, users will be able to access all their own photos, as well as their albums and contacts. They can see activity streams, and photos that friends have uploaded.
In addition, Flickr developed its own camera experience that is built into the app. It has a custom viewfinder that allows a user to select different photo ratios, and lets him quickly name new photos and add metadata. The app also automatically appends geolocation data. Any new photograph taken inside the app can be instantly and automatically uploaded to Flickr, and can also be sent to other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, by clicking a check box.
In addition to its new Android app, Flickr also unveiled its new Photo Session feature, which is intended to replicate the traditional way that people would show others pictures from vacations or of their kids or pets. But instead of requiring that everyone be in a room together, Photo Session is meant to make it possible to share such experiences regardless of where anyone is.
It works, said Eileen Hiromura, the product manager for Photo Session, by generating a unique URL that a Flickr user can then send to up to 10 friends or family members. Once they click on the URL, those people can then join a group viewing of an album.
The idea here is that the person who generated the session controls how those he or she shared it with see the pictures. So, as that person moves from photo to photo in the album, others taking part in the session will see the same progression. The feature works on computers, iPads, and iPhones. The URL lasts for 24 hours.
Photo Session also lets others who are partaking in an album viewing to make modifications to photos--such as drawing on them--that are instantly seen by everyone involved. And anyone invited to join a Photo Session group can also choose to browse the photos at their own leisure rather than look at them at the speed chosen by the photos' owner. If they want, they can then re-join the group whenever they want.
Flickr lead product manager Markus Spiering suggested that it's not entirely clear when users will create new Photo Sessions, but said it's likely that people who want to ensure friends and family members will be available to join a group together will contact those people in advance of sending out the session invitation.
Yahoo's eight mobile pillars
Flickr's announcements today were part of what Yahoo head of communications and community products Steve Douty said was the company's newly defined eight mobile strategic pillars.
Those pillars are, Douty said, delivering personal, quality content; a three-screen approach that brings Yahoo content in a seamless fashion to users' tablets, mobile phones, and computers; creating app-enhanced experiences; creating social and local scenarios that take advantage of what Yahoo knows about its users; creating continuous conversations between users irrespective of what kind of device they're using; sharing companion experiences with friends and family across devices; doing a better job of monetizing the company's mobile base via better mobile ads and commerce; and lastly, building new partner-friendly capabilities.