Which photo sharing services

Photography has been a popular subject across the Internet for some time now. More and more people are taking up photography these days. The web makes it even even easier for people to store and share photos with family and friends. Popular photo sharing web services like Yahoo’s Flickr and Google’s Picasa allows users to have an online album so that other people around the world would be able to see and comment their photos.

I don’t see myself as a photographer but time to time I would take some pictures on my Sony cyber-shot digital cam and store them on my harddrive. Some of my photo albums that I think are interesting I upload on my Facebook account. So most of my pictures that I have are on my harddrive. Its a good practice to backup your digital photos time to time and a good way to do that is by uploading it on the web. My greatest regret is that I did not do so when I realize only to late that my harddrive would not run anymore because of bad sectors.

Last week I installed Picasa on my laptop and I liked the way it helps to organize my photos for me. When I wanted to upload my photos using Picasa I realized that I have 1 GB limit of storage space on my Picasa account. I was a little disappointed with this, so I checked Flickr. Flickr on the other hand has no storage limit. Sounds great right? Not really, there is a catch. Flickr free account users are allowed to upload 100 MB of images a month. Which means that if you already uploaded 100 MB of images this month, you will have to wait for the next month to upload another 100 MB. Yeah so you need more than 10 months to beat Picasa’s 1 GB of storage limit thats if you used up all the 100 MB upload for each month.

Flickr also limits your “photostream” to the 200 most recent photos. So when you uploaded and hit more than 200 photos, Filckr will only let you see the 200 most recent photos. The old ones will not be deleted but it will be kept hidden. If you linked the old photos to a webpage, you will still be able to see them from that webpage.

These storage and upload limits can be lifted if you get a pro account on either Flickr or Picasa. With a pro account on Flickr you have unlimited upload for each month and on Picasa, instead of 1 GB you get a wooping 7 GB!

Uploading photos on either Flickr and Picasa is easy since both have their own web browser interface and software. Downloading gives Picasa the upper hand since Picasa software itself has the ability to sync photos on the web and on a computer. Flickr has third-party services that helps to download photos from your account which I heard is a pretty labor-intensive process.

Another alternative would be Facebook. Facebook Photos has emerged as the largest photo-sharing service in terms of users and is one of the fastest growing of any size. Facebook however truncates the quality of the photos you upload to fit the required pixels it uses. So the photos you upload won’t look as good as the originals you have. Facebook photos is not a good backup plan for your photos especially for those who wants to keep the quality of their photos.

Both Flickr and Picasa have their pros and cons. It all comes down to the users and what they want to use these services mainly for. Picasa is good for managing photos and probably the best way to backup 1 GB of photos. Flickr is best for its tags and communities where its all about sharing. For me, I use this kind of service mainly for backup and that is why I use Flickr. Eventhough I won’t be able to view all my photos because of the “200 most recent photos” limit, I know that my photos are safe in Flickr until I upgrade by account to pro to view all my photos. I don’t really see myself using Picasa until Google increase the storage space. Well, that’s me.

If you want a more technical comparison between Flickr and Picasa, you can read them here.