Photo Processes: Flickr vs. Facebook

I’ve got a few posts lined up explaining my current processes for the post-production and publishing of my photos. This first post is about publishing to web, the next one will be about organization after shooting an event.

I don’t like Facebook’s photo facility. It’s optimised to serve junk. I think that there are so many bad photos there, in terms of quality. Sure, many of them tell stories about people’s musings over the weekends, but thinking about it, it is mainly junk.

Let me give you a quick rundown on how Facebook serves photos. They optimise every photo that comes in for web use, scrubbing out EXIF and other miscellaneous data. Although they claim that “your photos look their best”, for quality freaks like me, it is far from that. The photos are resized and sent out through content delivery networks (CDNs). CDNs have servers all around the world, and requests for files are directed to the servers which is geographically the closest. More info is in this Facebook blog post.

So instead, I upload all my photos to Flickr. Their system is designed for the sharing and presentation of people’s photos (and pro member’s videos). When I upload there, the photos are served their original quality, with all the EXIF and other information. Flickr also allows geotagging, descriptions, tags and the like. In my opinion, it has a far richer experience than that of Facebook.

Now you might say “Hey Ben! Not everyone is on Flickr, but everyone is on Facebook!”. This is true. I completely agree that Facebook is the fastest way to share information with friends. Flickr is great for others to explore your work. I know that when I host photos on Flickr, I don’t get the intimacy of people’s comments/thoughts/feelings of my photos. However, I do get the “rich” experience I want which includes geotags, view statistics, and soon enough, critical appreciation. I am able to link Flickr photos to Facebook, so I can still show my friends.

To me, hosting photos on Flickr makes more sense. Although it seems like I am distancing myself from the social norm (well, at least the status quo), I think this issue will present itself better in the long term.

Any other thoughts?


  • “Facebook allows geotagging, descriptions, tags and the like. .. ” you mean flickr?

  • @Tom
    Thanks for that, Fixed.

  • I use to have a Flickr account, and I agree with you that it is rich experience an I thin it will always be around in the long term.

    As with many Social Networking Sites like Facebook, there time will come when a new N Site comes along an people will migrate to it. I use to have a FB, Bebo, but have given then the flick.

    I keep myspace cause I love music and you can always Still find new artists.

    Keep up the work you have a cool site with lots of good stuff to say. I shall def sent a tweet out and hopeful more people will come an visit.



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