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In Flickr's mobile upgrade, video!

Flickr updates its mobile Web site and introduces support for video playback, a huge feature that's still not quite open to all.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
Flickr's new mobile site on iPhone
Flickr

Flickr's mobile Web site hasn't traditionally been in step with its popular Web app. A fresh lick of paint and some API work under the hood brings the two experiences much closer in line.

On Thursday, Yahoo-owned Flickr pushed out a very worthwhile upgrade to its mobile-optimized site, m.flickr.com.

Video streaming is the big draw. As on Flickr.com since last April, anyone accessing Flickr from an iPhone or iPod Touch can play videos hosted on Flickr's servers. In a few weeks, Flickr will unlock this capability for anyone using a Webkit, Opera Mobile (but not Mini), for Firefox Mobile browser.

Of course, only pro subscriber members can upload videos at this point, each capped at 90 seconds in length and treated as a "long photo" rather than as a video per se.

In addition to getting video on board, Flickr has also reorganized the mobile home screen. Its freshly buffed layout now grants quick access to the activity feed, friends' recent uploads, and to the daily crop of hand-picked photos.

You'll also now be able to do maintenance work, like add contacts, mark images as favorites, adjust privacy settings, and browse interesting photos, all basic stuff that Flickr's mobile site should have already allowed. Nevertheless, we're happy to see it now.

Flickr's new mobile site worked great during testing, though its performance is limited by the strength of your data connection and video playback may as well be useless in Edge territory. There are also a few features that Flickr is leaving to third-party developers of native apps, like a quick way to take and update photos and video (where supported) within the app interface itself.

The changes, big and small, will better serve the 50 percent more visitors browsing Flickr photos from their phones, and will go a long way to making Flickr a more unified service from any outlet. The upgrade may also give Yahoo a boost of consumer confidence in the face of its recently sagging fortunes.