More Than Photo Sharing: 5 Unique Uses for Flickr

Nancy Messieh 17-07-2013

flickrFlickr is best known as one of the easiest ways to share and store your photos online. With Flickr’s latest revamp, upped free storage capacity and slick iOS app, it certainly seems like the photo-sharing site has received a second wind. All of this aside, however, there are a ton of ways you can take advantage of Flickr beyond just sharing photos, following users, and viewing their images.


We’ve come up with a few unique ways you can get more out of Flickr that go beyond photo sharing. Whether it’s preparing for your travels, furnishing a new home, learning a little bit about history, or more, Flickr has you covered.

Research Products Before You Buy Them

The first place many people go when deciding which camera or camera lens to buy is Flickr. While the iPhone continues to be the most popular ‘camera’ of choice among Flickr users, you can still head over to the site’s Camera Finder and check out photos taken using the camera of your choice.

Camera Finder

While there isn’t a similar page for lenses, you can simply search for the lens of your choice and you’ll get to see the lens in action. You will, of course, have to sift through photos of the lens itself as well, but it’s a great way to see how the lens looks and how it works all on one page.

In addition to camera gear, there is a lot of other product research you can do on Flickr. One cool thing about researching products you want to buy is that you get to see them in a natural environment. If you’re buying a specific book shelf or sofa, you can see it as a part of someone’s home, as opposed to in a staged and beautifully shot catalog image.


Take a Virtual Trip

Whether it’s searching tags and descriptions to discover photos of locations all over the world, or exploring geotagged photos How To Geotag Your Flickr Photos & Explore Them By Location Read More on Flickr’s world map. With well over 3 million geotagged photos on Flickr, there’s a lot of exploring out there to be done.


Where else are you going to find more holiday snaps than on Flickr? The sheer volume of photos (and travellers) makes it a great place to go and see what kind of photos you’d be able to take if you went there, give you an idea of what you can expect when you visit, and even add places to your itinerary that you might not have discovered otherwise. Flickr is a great way to go off the beaten path anywhere in the world because it’s not just travellers sharing their snaps, but people living in these places, so you can find hidden gems that only residents may know about.

Explore History

With Flickr Commons you can get a little history lesson of your own on the photo sharing website. Fascinating photos of soldiers in World War II, of families posing for portraits, of different eras and centuries – there’s no shortage of interesting images. It’s an amazing collection of historical photos all accessible in one place, and is likely something that many Flickr users forget about.



Photos in the Flickr commons come to us courtesy of a variety of institutions and museums including the Smithsonian Institute, the US and UK national archives, the Getty Research Institute, and much, much more.

Get Interior Design Ideas

Just like the advantages of seeing products in their natural environment, you can also use Flickr to get interior design ideas that are easy to implement. While we all know Pinterest is the ultimate place to find interior design ideas, sometimes they prove to be nothing more than images to aspire to, as they aren’t easy to execute. On Flickr, on the other hand, you can go into people’s real homes (and also get a decent dose of interior design images).

So if you want to see how a bright red wall, for example, would look in a home, and what kind of furniture would go with it, search for it on Flickr. Sometimes it helps to add the word ‘interior’ to your search just to make sure you find relevant results.



You can search for specific interior design items, colour schemes, and so much more.


Flickr is all about seeing things in action, so why not use it to see how recipes look when they’re completed. Searching the word ‘recipe’ can certainly turn up a lot of irrelevant results, but if you get specific, you can get some beautiful images, and even find some recipes to follow.

Just search for the food you want to cook, see how it looks, and you might even find some creative ways of putting together the dish you might not have originally thought of.



Other Unique Uses of Flickr — Your Suggestions

As one of the world’s largest photo sharing community, Flickr has a lot of riches inside it. It remains a place for serious shutterbugs 10 Flickr Groups for Serious Shutterbugs Read More , but can you think of any unique or creative uses for Flickr? Are you taking advantage of all that terabyte space? Let us know in the comments.

Related topics: Flickr, Photo Sharing.

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  1. Madflintsam
    July 18, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Every time I want to buy a lens, I go to the relevant group in Flickr to see the quality of it, its a wonderful place to get reviews on products one is planning to buy, but the other uses I have to try.
    Thank you for the informational article.