Today Yahoo-owned photo service Flickr hit 2 billion user-uploaded photos. The lucky uploader of photo number 2 billion isn't getting a free Flickr pro membership, but Yukesmook's picture of an Australian gum tree has already garnered more than 5,000 views and a slew of happy comments from Flickr users. Rival service Photobucket used to keep a live tracker of how many photos were being uploaded to the service before removing it shortly after the introduction of video hosting, however it was already well past the 2 billion mark in mid-February. In comparison, the latest published stats for Facebook's photo service (the No. 1 photo service according to Comscore) point it well beyond even Photobucket at its current growth rate of 14 million user photos uploaded per day.
As popular as all these aforementioned services are, none of them besides Photobucket's pro account users have FTP access, a feature that gives users a lot of control when they want to pick up their shots and go. While the size of a photo library matters to a certain degree when it comes to exploring other people's shots, I think it's all about speed, stability, and integration with third-party services, which is where I think Flickr originally got some of its street cred because of the API and stable servers.
[via Flickr blog]