Earlier this year, Flickr rebuilt the infrastructure that powers our beloved Explore page. Explore features about 500 exemplary images from across Flickr every day, highlighting photos that have caught the attention of the Flickr community. In rebuilding the tooling that powers Explore, we wanted to make sure it features a wide array of Flickr members, and that the images being highlighted represent great quality and community engagement. Today, we want to share some exciting data on Explore and celebrate some impressive accolades with our community.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the frequently asked questions that we get from community members about the feature.
What is Explore?
Flickr’s Explore page is one of the most beloved features for photographers in the Flickr community. Powered by an algorithm we continue to fine-tune, the page displays a rotating array of about 500 images from Flickr members every day. Explore is a great way to seek inspiration, discover fantastic talent from the community, and connect with photographers who share your interests.
Do I have to be popular to be on Explore?
It depends on your definition of popular, but the short answer is no. The images on Explore are picked by an algorithm based on activity on the photo. What really matters is the amount of authentic, organic interactions in the form of comments, faves, and views your photo gets after being posted, regardless of how many followers you have.
Do I have to be a Pro member to be featured in Explore?
No. We did experiment with giving priority exposure to Pro members in the past, but we found the best Explore experience when giving every member an equal chance to be featured. There is currently no consideration of account or billing status. Nevertheless, we continue to look at new ways to give our Pro members more exposure.
Why do I see photos with fewer faves or comments or views than mine on Explore?
The images featured in Explore aren’t necessarily the ones that gathered the most views, faves, or comments. We try to weigh in the quality of those actions over quantity. The timing of when you posted also plays a role.
Is there a limit on how often a Flickr member can be featured in Explore?
Yes. There are limits to how often a single member can be featured on the Explore page. We try to avoid predictability and give more of our members a fair share of exposure by setting some frequency limitations.
Is there a frequency with which I need to post photos in my account to be considered for Explore? Do people who post daily have a higher chance of being featured?
Regular posting is one of the factors that helps keep your audience engaged, but your focus should be on building an authentic community of people who value and interact with your work in a genuine way.
Does adding tags, titles, and descriptions to my photos impact my chances of being in Explore?
Yes. Providing more metadata and information about the upload influences the scoring of the photo. The more the system can understand the content uploaded, the better the chances of it being Explored.
Does adding my photo to groups help my chances of getting into Explore?
Adding your photos to on-topic groups is a great way to connect with other Flickr members interested in the same kind of photography that you do. It is also a great way to build community and interaction around your work, thus improving your chances of getting featured!
Why are there so many birds on Explore?
If you see that a particular theme is more popular in Explore than another, that’s a sign of a very deep community on Flickr that’s coming together to show their appreciation for those photos. The best you can do to get a more diverse range of topics showcased in Explore is to get your audience to engage with other members interested in the sort of photography you’d like to see featured.
I haven’t been featured in Explore yet. What can I do to increase my exposure on Flickr?
We know that it’s a coveted spot, but having your photo appear on the Explore page shouldn’t be the only thing that motivates you! After all, there are only so many photos we can show in Explore every day. We also curate thematic galleries on specific topics and occasionally do Explore takeovers to celebrate Flickr’s different communities. If you’re looking for ways to grow your audience, watch our first Flickr FAQs episode for some useful tips. We also encourage you to add your photos to the Flickr Social group, an official group run by Flickr, to promote your photography across our various official channels on social media.
To explore a larger selection of “Community Favorites,” visit this gallery.