Photo search took a couple steps forward today with announcements from both Yahoo and Google. The news from Yahoo is a mobile makeover of its Flickr photo sharing site, while Google announced a variety of improvements to its Picasa photo service.
Here’s a look at the two announcements:
Flickr’s “Mobile Makeover”
With visits to Flickr’s mobile site (m.flickr.com) up more than 50% in the past year, the mobile site now shares much of the same features and functionality that Flickr users are familiar with on the main site.
The Yahoo announcement trumpets the new video playback capabilities on Flickr mobile, but many users will be happier with the improved navigation. Your user home page (below left) sports quick links to see recent activity on your own photos, photos from your contacts, and the most interesting photos uploaded to Flickr. An individual photo page (below right) shows thumbnails of the adjacent photos in your account; a single tap navigates to that photo.
The video playback feature is available already for iPhone and iPod Touch users, and will be rolled out in the coming weeks for other devices that support streaming video.
For more, read Yahoo’s full announcement.
Google’s Picasa Upgrades
Google’s Picasa service is getting several upgrades:
- Sharing – Picasa users can now more easily see who they’ve shared photo albums with, and others can more easily see all the albums you’ve shared with them.
- “Sign-in required” albums – In addition to labeling photo albums as public or unlisted, a new option is “sign-in required.” This lets users share albums only with others who have a Picasa Web Albums account.
- Video playback – All videos that are 320 pixels or bigger will play back in higher-quality MPEG4 format.
- International name tags – The name tags tool is now available in 38 different languages.
- Automatic comment translation
- Improved gallery page design
For more, read the full announcement.