Flickr Delves Into People-Tagging

    October 22, 2009

Let’s admit it: Flickr, which should have beaten Facebook to the punch, fell way behind in terms of letting its users tag people in their photos.  However, Yahoo’s photo-sharing site has now caught up, and in a couple of respects, outdone what many regard as its chief rival.

"People in Photos" is what Flickr’s calling its new feature.  A Flickr representative explained in an email to WebProNews that it "allows Flickr members to add one another to photos.  Members are also able to see who is in a photo, find photos of other people more easily, and manage which photos they are in." 

Standard fare so far, sure.  Here’s the part that puts Flickr ahead: a deeper respect for privacy.  Facebook makes its members react, untagging themselves only after other people let the world know that they were in a lampshade-on-the-head state.  Flickr’s controls allow for a more proactive approach.

Flickr’s representative wrote, "The first time someone is added to a photo they will immediately receive an initial email notification alerting them that their image has been added.  After the initial approval, the notifications will appear on the member’s recent activity on the homepage and through email activity updates. . . .  [M]embers have full control over their privacy and can choose who can add them in photos, which photos they are added to, or opt out of the feature completely."

People in Photos is likely to have Flickr users spending more time on the site and perhaps bringing in new friends.  What should be interesting to see is how Facebook responds.