Flickr's got a new way for users to view their contacts that, if you're a regular user of Google's image search, may appear a little familiar to you.
The new viewing option announced by Flickr, called Justified, creates a mosaic of images from your contacts using a seamless display of images associated with your contacts. Or, as Flickr describes it in their blog post, a "new view to make it easier to see the stories your friends are telling with their photos." The new view option can be found, obviously, under the View menu when you're looking at your contacts page. With the Justified layout, pictures retain their aspect ratio so you don't have to worry about how Flickr will crop the photos when they appear in a photostream. See the sample of the Justified view below.
One thing that sharp observers will notice is that they may have seen this type of seamless display before when looking at the results of a Google image search. When you've been logged into your Google account, you've probably noticed the social search results at the top of your screen that affix a name of the person that uploaded the image along with a link to their Google+ account (example below).
Flattery may be the most sincere form of compliments, but Flickr can't be accused of being the first company to ape the way Google designed the layout of images. Facebook recently adopted a similar way to view pictures that very much resembles the presentation of user photos on Google+. That said, you have to admit: the seamless display in Flickr is pretty sharp. And as things go, I think I prefer the Flickr variation more than Google's. The picture information is less obtrusive than Google's version but given how Google is not one to overlook a good idea, regardless of who had it, anybody want to take bets on how long it takes Google to modify their layout to more closely mirror Flickr's Justified view?