Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Next Generation Web Services: Flickr (by Jeremy Zawodny)

Next Generation Web Services: Flickr (by Jeremy Zawodny) Great thread here on Flickr as a next gen web service, including comments from Stewart. Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo notes that Flickr:

* does one thing and does it well
* provides a clean and simple UI
* has clear and helpful documentation
* exposes core functionality with a documented API
* account sign up is brain-dead simple
* makes extensive and intuitive use of RSS
* like del.icio.us, uses tags to help organize
* doens't spam me with graphical/animated/flash ads or try to unexpectedly pop up any sort of window

In the comments, Stewart says: As evidenced (hopefully) by the open APIs and RSS (which, when you think about it, is continuous partial export) we have no problems with providing ways for people to get their photos AND metadata out. We don't now, but will be providing downloadable versions as well as CD/DVD backups at some point, once we are out of beta (this is an actual beta, not a Friendster 'beta'). And Justin is right - Flickr basically sucked when it first came out. We made lots of mistakes, but we made them fast :)

On the business model, he says: "It's pretty simple: 1) ads to cover the costs of the free users (who are limited in the amount they can upload each month and in a few other ways) and 2) subscription fees (for (almost) unlimited uploads, storage, bandwidth and some extra features)."