Flickr set for major design upgrade next week

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Flickr friends photo view

Photo sharing website Flickr is scheduled to receive a much-needed makeover according to senior project manager Markus Spiering. In an interview with BetaBeat, Spiering revealed the new user interface would minimize the excessive white space and information currently found on the site – gravitating towards the grid-like photo layouts found on sites like Pinterest and 500px.

The update, which is scheduled for 28 February, will hopefully give Flickr the boost it needs to compete with newer photography websites like Instagram. Yahoo! has been criticised for the lack of innovation in design and updates to Flickr – the last major overhaul of their page layouts and navigation was in August 2010.

However, Flickr has heralded 2012 as the year of change, hinting in a recent blog post that users can expect new features, an updated user interface and greater functionality across devices this year.

The changes scheduled for next week will revamp the upload page to a touchscreen friendly drag-and-drop design. The site will also change the way it displays recent photos uploaded by a user’s friends – that page will now become a mosaic of images remarkably similar to the photo viewing pages on Microsoft’s cloud service, SkyDrive.

Flickr also intends to upgrade its mobile apps, in accordance with Yahoo!’s “mobile first” strategy which saw the company terminate various underperforming apps to focus on improving a select few. Flickr currently has official apps for Apple and Windows Phone, and the first official Flickr Android app only launched in September last year. The BlackBerry app was discontinued by Research in Motion in March 2011.

Image: BetaBeat

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