Monday, June 27, 2011

Photosharing: Flickr versus Picasa


We continue to discuss channel optimisation this month, on the Rocktime blog. This week Fiona discusses her experience in using both photo sharing tools, Flickr and Picasa. She highlights which channel she prefers to use and which she would recommend to Rocktime clients.

In her estimation, Picasa is better than Flickr for certain clients, find out why below, and feel free to send in a comment to let us know which photo sharing service you prefer.

My experience in using Picasa

  • Editing and organising
I initially chose Picasa back in 2008, as an editing program because it allowed me to view RAW format image files that I had photographed using a Canon and a Nikon digital SLR camera.

In my leisure time, I promote an acoustic musician through images, social networks and at live events and the photography is mostly shot at these live music events; shooting musicians in limited light and nearly always in a moody environment. I don’t use flash and most of my images are ‘in-camera’.

Picasa allows some basic editing of photos; I mostly do quick adjustments to highlights, cropping, adding some effects, and reducing or increasing the warmth of images. More exacting photo editing would be done in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.
Picasa has a good desktop app for organising my pictures into folders, easily tagged for searching and uploading and costs less to upgrade than Flickr.
  • Adding text
Picasa allows for adding text to images, which is useful for quick flyers, cards and posters. One feature I really enjoy in Picasa is the collage feature, which is simple and effective for both random selections of images, or quite structured collections of images.
  • Social
Picasa has great social share features and allows me to upload the images directly to a blog, share a link to the album, or mark them as private. This is useful for viewing a whole album, or individual images in discussion and then deciding which ones to further edit, or use in a promotional campaign. I just choose the level at which I want to share the images and email the link directly from the desktop.

Did I mention that the basic storage on Picasa is FREE!  There are upgrades available for 80GB and up to 200GB.
  • Video
You can also upload videos to Picasa, you could if you wanted, upload one giant 1GB video to fill up your storage quota. You can pay for more storage additions, which can be spread across Gmail, Google Docs as you see fit.

My experience in using Flickr

I do have an account on Flickr, I don’t use it for photo sharing or photo storing. However, I do use it as a content seeding tool for flyers, which promote gigs and events. I still use Picasa for the basic editing of these flyers and Photoshop for more serious editing. As an enthusiastic photographer, I do like to peruse Flickr from time to time, as I like to find the beautiful, interesting and arty photographs that other users have loving uploaded over the years.

You can also upload videos to Flickr and allows users to upload a 90-second video (150 MB) or 500 MB of video with a pro account. Idea: you can, of course, upload a longer video elsewhere and then link to it from a photo page.

The main concern with Flickr is the fact that they have a low monthly upload limit, unless of course you pay for a PRO account. This can slow you down when you are only able to upload 100MB of photos and 2 videos a month. Also, although the audience on Flickr is far greater than Picasa, we have found that the active community members are mainly photographers. Flickr has no significant desktop application. If appropriate, there are ways to migrate from Flickr to Picasa using an application like PhotoGrabbr.
  • Social
Flickr is a more socially driven website than Picasa. Flickr is integrated with Facebook. The best use of uploads is in sets, which can be considered a campaign or an event. When you have a series of events then it gets stored as an album. The images can belong in multiple collections. Tags are searcheable in your photostream and highly recommended.

Flickr offers all the same security benefits of Picassa, when you mark the set/collection/photo as viewable to all public, or private and inaccessible. For the professional photographer having the ability to add Rights Reserved to protect their copyright is very important.

Rocktime clients and Picasa

For Rocktime clients I have found much more interesting uses for Picasa, such as the ability to upload to the Panoramio community, which is great for finding locations on Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Search. Picasa also allows the use of RSS feeds, slideshows, post to Buzz, Blogger, Google Talk and Twitter as part of a social media campaign. Our Leisure and Tourism clients, who enjoy beautiful locations, as well as being a viable business, benefit from Picasa.

Further reasons why I sometimes favour Picasa

I found the Google Picasa experience is faster than Flickr, more up to date. The library of images within Picasa are all easily catalogued by date, location and people in the images. The geotags for mapping, text and tags make searches more refined and easily found easily on location searches. Public photos allow users to comment, building a community. Photos can be uploaded Facebook directly from Picasa.

I would recommend that you edit in Picasa and then do a bulk upload to Facebook of the chosen images. The images can be bulk resized for quick upload. The photo gallery template aids the individualisation of albums. The software is uploaded on a regular basis, is very simple to update and has easy to read instructions, plenty of support and question and answer forums.


In my estimation, Picasa is better than Flickr. Read my concluding points below:

Flickr is a great channel for photosharing, however, it can often slow a social media strategy down, unless you have a paid for (Pro) account, due to their low monthly upload limit. Additionally the audience on Flickr is mainly Photographers, so you will find that the professional looking photos will be viewed more.

The big benefit of Picasa is its excellent desktop tool, plus it links with Google GEO targeting features (Google Maps, Google Earth). Also unlike Flickr, Picasa does not have a monthly upload limit, only a limit of 1GB for lifetime (As with Flickr you pay for more storage). There are additional benefits for Picasa including the ability to upload to Panoramio community, which is great for finding locations on Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Search. Picasa allows the use of RSS feeds, slideshows, post to Buzz, Blogger, Google Talk and Twitter as part of a social media strategy.

If I was an art gallery I would choose Flickr, If I was a boutique hotel chain I would choose Picasa, if I was a musician I would use both. Making a decision on which photo sharing tool to use depends on a number of factors including your resources and social sharing requirements.

Similar photosharing programs

There are many other photosharing options like Photobucket, which has been around for years and was used extensively when we all needed to grab HTML code for our images.
Picnik is an online photo editing service, which has grown in popularity since its integration with Flickr and smugsmug. Also note: Google bought Picnik and this is now integrated into Picasa.

Windows Live Photo Gallery, Twitpic, Yfrog, Instagram, picpiz, SmugMug, Path, Imageshack, Snapfish, Zooomr and more.

Even Twitter recently launched a photosharing offer partnering with Firefox, to integrate hashtag and username searching directly into the browser’s address bar.
Based on the reviews, Virgin Media still needs to refine their newly launched TiVo photosharing app, if they are to compete but it does go to show that photosharing is a massive market and everyone wants to be part of it.

I would love to hear which photo sharing / editing service you prefer.

Should you require assistance in determining which photo sharing service will suit your business / brand, then please give Rocktime’s Search Marketing team a call.

Author: Fiona Anderson


Unknown said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.

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Hellish said...

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