Last year I put together the first version of this comparison; since then several services have changed.
Smartphones and increasingly-powerful compact and DSLR cameras have led to a huge increase in photos being shared on the web; the hobbyist photographer has many options to share his or her work. Below is a comparison of seven leading photo sharing services; there are others on the market but I’m focusing on the most popular that offer a wide range of features and have decent market reach.
Photo Sharing Feature Comparison
|Free Accounts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|Features of Paid Account||Additional Storage|
|n/a||Additional Storage||n/a||Unlimited uploads|
|(All features of the site)|
Customizable site appearance
|(All features of the site)
Customizable site appearance
|Paid Account Cost||$49.99/year||n/a||varies, starts at $2.49/month for 25GB||n/a||$19.95/year - $49.95/year depending on features||$40/year - $300/year depending on features||$30/year - $250/year depending on features|
|Single Photo Display Size||responsive**||responsive**||responsive||615px||900 px||1600 px||1550 px|
|Mapping / Geotagging Support||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Follow Specific Users / Contacts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Group Photo Pools||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Discover Popular Photos||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Embed Images Elsewhere||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Share via Twitter||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Share via Facebook||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Share via Tumblr||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|iPhone App for Posting Photos||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Android App for Posting Photos||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Instant Upload of all new Mobile Photos||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Ability to View Galleries from iPhone/Android||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|API for Developers||Yes||Yes||Limited||Yes||Limited||Yes||Yes|
|Sell Photo Prints at Cost||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes*|
|Sell Photo Prints for Profit||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes*||Yes*|
|Set Your Own Profit Margin||No||No||No||No||No||Yes*||Yes*|
|Sell Digital Licenses to Photos||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes*||Yes*|
* – this feature is available on some of the paid account levels, but not all
** – responsive photo display indicates that the image is shown at a size that best fills the available browser space
*** – these features are based on Flickr’s current paid offerings. Those with “Pro” accounts prior to May 2013 also have additional features that are no longer available
Beyond Specs: My Thoughts on the Services
Back in ye olden days of the internet, Flickr was king among photo sharing sites. Then came other services and the rise of social networks, allowing Facebook to dethrone Flickr as the photo hosting/sharing champion. Instagram came on strong in the last couple of years but seems to have faltered a bit lately as its Terms of Service debacle coincided with Flickr releasing a great mobile app. Recent Flickr updates have allowed for bigger photos in the contacts views, but they’ve moved away from Pro accounts as a mainstream feature.
As I see it, much of the social photography conversation which once happened on Flickr is now happening on Google+.
Facebook is the most popular social network in the world but there are those, like me, who don’t use it for various reasons.
What do you think? Where do you share photos (and why)? Drop a comment below…