Quick review after 7 years on Flickr and a year and a half on Instagram

It’s been more than 7 years that I’ve been on Flickr. Over these 7+ years I have posted 4,632 items (photos, drawings and the odd video) and had 10,806 views of them. So roughly two views per item on average.

I’ve been on Instagram for over a year and posted 155 photos. I don’t have statistics for the views on my Instagram items but I think my ratios must be about the same or even less encouraging. I’ve been posting more lately on Instagram, but feeding back into my Flickr stream as Instagram gives you the possibility to post directly to other media.

Views on my images on Flickr were close to non-existent as I’ve chosen to hide them from public searches, don’t use tags and don’t post images to groups frequently. So if you want to increase the views on your Flickr items, do exactly the opposite. I have, however, increased the views of my photos by posting links to Twitter. I’m very grateful to the positive feedback I get from followers on Twitter about images on Flickr.

It’s a bit frustrating that only other Flickr members are able to “fave” a photo. And the same goes for images on Instagram. So you’re kind of forced to publish material on several platforms to reach the users of any of them – Flickr, 500px, +G, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, your blog, and whichever newest thing comes next week. Though some of these allow you to post the same material in several platforms, there’s no way to have a single location to store your material and different venues to access. Each service would keep a copy of your material in their servers, with different degrees of privacy and usage terms. Copyright control and license issues aside, there’s still the problem of views statistics. How to keep tab of views, comments, links to your images, etc.? It’s almost like a job in itself. But what for?

I sometimes look with envy at the numbers of other users (followers, faves/likes, comments, thumbs up). I imagine that they’re not only the result of the quality or nature of the image, but also of the promotion efforts and connections gathered by the poster. In a way, you can argue that a big part of the success of a work of art has always been a matter of how known is the artist. Promotion is good for the artist, the more your work is known, the more you’ll be requested, the more work you’ll produce, the more you’ll get known, a (theoretically) virtuous circle.

But then again, not every Flickr (or other photo-sharing service) user is an artist. At least I know I’m not.

When I look back at some of the things I posted 6 years ago I realized I’ve come a long way. Equipment and graphic tools have improved and advanced so much in these years. I’ve learned a couple of things while butchering photos. I’ve met friends that have inspired me more than once to draw and create something new. Maybe after 7 years I’ll be able to produce good images and increase my average of views per photo. Maybe get some more “faves”. Oh the possibilities! 🙂

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2 Comments on “Quick review after 7 years on Flickr and a year and a half on Instagram”

  1. Glass Eye says:

    I don’t get that many hits on my Instagram account, but I still find it quite fun. Yes, watermarking is a bit of a pain, but I think of it as self-promotion… As for the square format, I’ve set my iPhone to show a grid when I’m shooting. That way I can often compose images more easily with a square format in mind and this is a new discipline for me, being so used to the 35mm format of my SLR. With the grid, just make sure whatever you want in the shot is kept within 2×2 squares.

    Contra to your experience, I’ve never much fancied Flickr for reasons I think you know 😉

    I’m glad you decided to write this article though. It’s interesting to see others’ views on these things!

    • laumerritt says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read this and the other posts on Instagram and for the comment. Thanks also for the tip on composing for a square format.Very much appreciated.


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