In less than a year, Yahoo's photo-sharing site grew from 2 billion to 3 billion images. A black-and-white door shot uploaded Monday pushed Flickr past the new milestone.
Stephen Shanklandprincipal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
I've always been annoyed by the significance we humans attach to numeric milestones just because they happen to involve a lot of zeros.
But 3 billion--the number of photos now housed at Flickr--is undoubtedly a big number, even if its intrinsic excitement diminishes when, for example, translated into octal as 26,264,057,000. It's also more notable when you consider that Flickr's 2 billionth shot arrived less than a year ago.
Of course, Facebook has more than 10 billion photos. But while that site has a lot of social activity, it's not the haven for photography enthusiasts that Flickr has become. At the Yahoo site, many join groups of like-minded photographers, comment on each other's shots, and share advice on forums.
Update 8:55 p.m. PST: I heard back from Smith, and those of you longtime Flickr loyalists hoping to achieve some sort of immortality through getting the 3 billionth photo may be distressed to hear you were beaten out by a newbie who was looking for a place to share some pictures.
"I have been using Flickr for less than a week now," he said. "My future sister-in law had her first child last week I had my camera with me and took a round of photos...We figured this would be a good way to share the photos with everyone across the United States and also with a family friend serving overseas."
The shot itself is of a door on an abandoned house in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, he said.
"Since Katrina hit I have been back to New Orleans numerous times and still cannot believe what it looks like three years later, especially in the Lower Ninth Ward area," he said.
Editor's note, 3:02 p.m. PST: It appears there are two URLs for the same shot, the one noted above, and this one, with the appropriate 3,000,000,000 at the end.