Flickr betters its apps, developer showcase

The photo site got a new directory of third-party apps, but how is it different from the one that came before it? We take a look.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

It seems like everyone has an application directory these days, and now Flickr is no exception. While not offering up paid third-party services (yet), Flickr on Tuesday unveiled a reworked services section dubbed the "App Garden" that better showcases photo tools, and the people who have created them.

The new apps directory page manages to squeeze just about as many applications into a smaller space than the old one did. It also gives each app its own page where users can add descriptive tags and leave feedback in the form of comments. In fact, these new pages act just like Flickr photo pages, including giving registered users a way to favorite certain apps, which goes towards promoting up-and-coming apps higher up in the showcase. They also double as a shortcut to viewing other apps made by that same developer.

Flickr's new "App Garden" as the company calls it, is much more compact than the services directory that came before it. It also adds user interaction to the mix with comments and favoriting. CNET

One area where the new app system has not permeated just yet is in letting users see what apps their friends and contacts are using. For instance, Flickr's activity feed--which gives Flickr users a bird's eye view of what their friends are up to, does not show when a user has favorited one of these tools. Users will only be able to see what apps they themselves have favorited from within the App Garden, and not alongside their photo favorites. There is also no way to create collections of apps you like to share with others, as you can do with the recently-released gallery feature.

These things may come in time, but for now it's already a much better system than the previous API services page. Developers have more of a chance to try to convince users to give their app a spin before they ever leave the site, and other Flickr users are now able to chime in and recommend it, either through the new favoriting system, or in the comments. Whether Flickr decides to make some of this user activity a little more public is unclear.

After the jump: The before and after of the API services menu, and what's now the App Garden.

The old API services page sits on the left, while the newer, smaller App Garden page is on the right. Click to enlarge. CNET