Innovation is assembly: Flickr the next big time

When the modern technologies keep developing, we can see a new league of fostered growth and advancement in connectedness. Now we can fulfil both business and consumer needs like never before – largely thanks to open Internet protocols and APIs (Application Programming Interface).An application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules and specifications that a software program can follow to access and make use of the services and resources provided by another particular software program that implements that API. It serves as an interface between different software programs and facilitates their interaction, similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. And the Web2.0 application im going to introduce is Flickr.

Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community created by Ludicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. This service is used by bloggers to post images that they embed in blogs and social media. Flickr is an excellent example of next gen web services due to its one major focus (imagery), exposure of core functionality with a fully documented API, a clean and intuitive UI with easy sign up, no spam and fabulous community guidance.Flickr has increasingly been adopted by many web users as their primary photo storage site, especially members of the blogging community.Flickr provides both private and public image storage. A user uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. A photo can be flagged as either public or private. Private images are visible by default only to the uploader, but they can also be marked as viewable by friends and/or family.

There are two goals for API exposure. The first is to attract developers, who are considered a special type of user, and hope that these developers not only start using the product, but they start advertising it on their blogs and via word of mouth. The purpose here is to attract more users of all types, and to help bring about the beneficial network effects as discussed above. The second goal for exposing an API to the public is to stimulate creation of additional applications using the data and API provided by the organization. If any of these applications are successful, the APIs and by default the underlying technology will be more successful as a direct result.

API fosters third party innovation. E.g this includes a large number of third-party Greasemonkey scripts which enhance and extend the functionality of the Flickr site.Flickr has also entered into partnerships with third parties to offer printing of various forms of merchandise, including business cards, photo books, stationery, personalized credit cards, and large-size prints, from companies The fruits of developers using Flickr’s API are showcased within the App Garden, where developers exhibit an endless variety of creative applications using a variety of feeds – public images, videos, favourites, friends, groups, profiles, and more.Some of the examples are 1)Flickr Uploadr which you can easy drag or drop from iphone to upload pictures in batches. 2)Desktop Flickr Organizer (DFO) which allows you to edit descriptions, tags and titles, upload/ download/ delete in bunches or singular images.
3)Flump which is a simple desktop to download all public images of a specific Flickr account.

It is clear that Web 2.0 applications support web development by providing API services. It allows the combination of multiple services into new applications. As a result, API services could drive innovation from third party developers to contribute in web applications.

References:
http://www.digilee.net/?p=197
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flickr
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greasemonkey
http://rallenhome.com/essays/essay4.html#_Toc122233559

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3 Responses to Innovation is assembly: Flickr the next big time

  1. Flickr may provide that public service for users to upload their photos but when it comes to privatising photos to only friends and family members, I think Facebook would have a bigger leverage over Flickr due to its member base. Google Picasa may also have a fair share of the market as well. Flickr is the next big thing? not sure mate but we’ll see how things turn out.

  2. xxlesliexx says:

    well i just saw the Google Picasa. It seems like it is exceptionally straightforward to use, with a tabbed interface offering three options–My Photos, Favorites, and Explore–the last of which lets you browse the public photo library. Both are quite similar in terms of purpose and usage.

    • sabrina says:

      Although I use Google Picasa instead of Flickr, I think these two web 2.0 application might attract different group of users. As I know, most photographers either amateur or professional ones prefer Flickr to others to put their works.

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