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Photos and Image Sharing: Thing 15

Websites as Photobucket, TinyPic, and Flickr are social networking sites whose purpose is to share photos with others. These sites are numerous, but many share similar features such as the ability to create a gallery, a photoblog, or a embedd photos in other websites. The latter feature is becoming increasingly important because many social networking sites, such as FaceBook, incorporate many features of these photo sharing websites, making them unnecessary.

Often these websites will let you use their services for free, but charge for premium services, such as increased file storage.

There was a controversial situation in which Virgin Mobile launched a bus stop advertising campaign using photos taken from people’s public Flickr accounts. 15 year-old Alison Chang was photographed during a church car wash fundraiser and the photo was uploaded to Flickr, and Virgin Mobile used the photo in their ad campaign. The photo was used without permission, and she sued Virgin Mobile on the basis that the company used the photo without her permission. The company claimed that they did nothing wrong because the photo was uploaded under the Creative Commons by Attribution license, and the courts eventually threw the case out.

Flickr is a more complex file sharing site, and in addition to photos it allows you to share videos as well. You can also tag and list a description for certain parts of the photos. From a partnership with Picnik , Flickr allows you to crop, remove red-eye, rotate, and edit photos online. You can also subscribe to an RSS-feed tied to someone’s Flickr account to be notified of photo updates.

As of August 2009, Flickr is hosted on 62 databases across 124 servers. As of October 2009, it claims to host more than 800,000 user accounts and over 4 billion images.