Launched in early 2004, Flickr is one of the earliest—and most successful—social networks. Focused on being the best destination online for simple sharing of videos and pictures, Flickr continues to grow its core services by integrating new features for its free and paid users. Some of the more popular features Flickr offers include easy-to-understand image licensing with Getty Images and user-friendly online editing tools available via Picnik.

Flickr users set-up accounts to share photos and network with other photographers, both professional and amateur. Photos are stored in high-resolution formats (uploads of images in size up to 20MB are allowed), and these images are rendered by Flickr on the fly and made available in a wide array of sizes for easy downloading and reuse. This functionality allows many Flickr users take advantage of the website to host images for reuse on their blogs.

Photosharing meets royalty

Some businesses, organizations, and public figures make use of Flickr as a marketing and public relations tool. The British Monarchy uses Flickr to expand its online reach. They regularly post photo updates to their photostream, sharing exclusive images of the Royal Family at work promoting their causes. Many of these pictures give a behind-the-scenes look at their charitable activities, providing additional positive publicity.

The British Monarchy also use their Flickr account to create sets specific to different events and other themes. Sets are Flickr’s term for online photo albums. Sets can be clustered together to form what Flickr calls collections, allowing for greater organization possibilities. Sets can be embedded on other websites as slideshows, too. See below for an example of an embedded slideshow from the British Monarchy’s Flickr account. It’s their set of images called, “The Prince of Wales rides an electric bicycle at the START festival.”

In addition to having your own stream of photos like the British Monarchy, some businesses use Flickr to create networking groups for certain themes. Flickr groups provide another interactive way for businesses to engage their core audiences by giving them a place to submit their own images.

Small business owner Elsie Larsen, a vintage resale shop owner and dress designer, created the Flickr group “Project ReStyle” to promote upcycling. She encourages followers on her blog and other fans to submit their restyled fashions and projects, as inspired by her designs. Since “Project ReStyle” launched on Flickr at the beginning of 2011, over 1,500 participants have joined the group and submitted over 2,800 photos of their creations.

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