The Discovery of Fascinating Objects

The Flickr iPhone app is the most addictive app on my phone at the moment after Wanelo. The kind of app I’ll start using and then blissfully ignore text messages and the outside world until I get my fill.

It’s not because of the great photos my friends continue to upload there (Instagram owns that part of my brain now and isn’t giving it back), but because of all the things collectors of vintage design, furniture, calculators, magazines, advertising, architecture, artwork, matchbooks, postcards, book covers, product packaging, candy and toys are sharing there. I don’t use it to look at photos per se but objects. It’s like the difference between inspirational images and products you can buy. An “upload-only Tumblr for collectors” was how I first thought to describe it (there’s no reblogging). Now I’m realizing how similar the mobile experience is to Wanelo.

Because it’s all that content plus the intense scrollability of the app, which is so important on mobile and currently lacking on the Flickr website. You can see a lot of stuff quickly on the profile and favorites views, where I spend most of my energy, using it like I first used Etsy and now use Wanelo: tracing back the people behind the things I like and seeing what else they like, then continuing on into infinity.

Flickr faves of the moment

3 responses to “The Discovery of Fascinating Objects”

  1. Postscript: the latency I’ve been experiencing in the Flickr app lately is painful; here’s hoping the performance issues get addressed soon.

    I’ve also noticed that many of the things I’m discovering and favoriting now were posted years ago. So now that discovery is happening thanks to this app, are the uploaders still uploading? I think the answer is yes, but not at the same rate they were before Tumblr came of age.

  2. Postscript 2: Flickr has now redesigned their website, making it much more scrollable and more or less doing what I had hoped they would do. The favorites view I liked and screenshotted above is now used on photostreams and search results, and a highly scrollable activity feed is the default signed-in view.

    Of course, many of the people I’ve started following on Flickr as a result of these new layouts and experiences absolutely hate the new design.

    This is to be expected with such a dramatic change, and having been a part of product redesigns that users vocally hated while continuing to use the product in increasing numbers with increasing intensity for increasingly long periods of time, I’m optimistic for Flickr. With this move + the recent Tumblr acquisition (an unthinkable possibility when I posted this last month), Yahoo stock looks pretty good right now, possibly for the first time this century.