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Flickr to upgrade photo printing

The Yahoo photo-sharing site plans to make it easier to print multiple photos in one fell swoop.

SAN FRANCISCO--Flickr was originally designed for sharing photos, but Yahoo is trying to make life easier for those who want to print pictures and not just see them on a screen.

The Yahoo site is working on an upgrade to Flickr's Organize interface, which lets people select batches of photos, to make it easier to print multiple photos, said Kakul Srivastava, Flirk's director of product management. Today, each photo must be selected individually off its own Web page, which rapidly gets tiresome.

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"It should be happening in the next week or so," she said in an interview here at the Web 2.0 Summit on Thursday. Flickr also announced plans to upgrade the site's ability to put geotagged photos to better use at the show.

The company also is trying to make printing "more interesting," expanding with new possibilities that arrived "since the world of Kodak 4x6 prints," she said. Those new options include photo cubes and photo books enabled through a partnership with Hewlett-Packard that the printer and computer maker announced at the Web 2.0 conference.

Flickr printing today feels to me like a grafted-on afterthought. And with hordes of users moving over from the shutdown of Yahoo Photos, which was more oriented toward printing than sharing, it's wise to pay attention to the feature.

Personally, I'd like to see some other printing-related features, too. Maybe you tagging gurus know a way to do this, but I tag photos when editing them on the computer, and I'd like to include a tag for the shots I'm likely to print so I can rapidly sift them out of the archive at an online site such as Flickr.

I'd also like the ability to show high-resolution versions of photos only to family and friends so they can print their favorites and I don't have to worry that somebody is going to snatch them for their own stock photo purposes. Right now I sometimes upload two versions of a photo, one private and high-resolution and one public and smaller.