Flickr 4.0 update brings Uploadr tool, contextual search and more

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 3:10 PM EDT


In an effort to fulfill CEO Marissa Mayer’s promise to ‘make Flickr awesome again,’ Yahoo has unveiled yet another massive update to the photo sharing platform, both in the browser and in its apps.

Deemed Flickr 4.0, the update brings about a handful of visual changes as well as a few new tools and features to further simplify the workflow of uploading and sorting through your images, be them from mobile devices or DSLRs.

The first of the features is Uploadr, a new tool for Mac OS X and Windows that will search for images on your computer and upload them into a private Flickr album in the background.

Also new is a Camera Roll feature which displays all of your images in reverse-chronological order, a paradigm that’s been around for quite some time, most notably in Apple’s for iOS and OSX.

Flickr’s mobile apps were also updated, ‘[having] been rewritten nearly from scratch’ according to The Verge. In both the iOS and Android versions, Flickr has opted to revert its focus back to your own photos, rather than those you follow — a transition many saw as an effort to replicate Instagram’s successful experience.

Both online and in the apps, Flickr has a completely revamped its search function. You can now sort more intelligently through Flickr’s billions of images via keywords, dates, colors, shape, size, quality, licensing and more. Powering the updated search is underlying image-recognition technology, which enables more contextualized searches called ‘Magic View.’ In Flickr’s own words, ‘Look for photos of the London Eye to find the giant Ferris wheel and you’ll no longer find countless photos of eyes taken in London.’

Flickr 4.0 is one of the most dramatic and widespread changes to the photo sharing platform since its inception in 2004. It might not fit your needs perfectly, but considering Yahoo offers 1TB of storage for free, there’s not much room for complaints.

In addition to new features, Flickr also revealed it now has over 11 billion photos on its servers, uploaded by its 112 million registered users.

Head on over to Flickr to take a look at the changes. You can download Flickr’s new Uploadr tool here. App updates can be downloaded in their respective app stores.