23hq.com - A Flickr alternative?

Since Yahoo! announced that the old Flickr accounts will be merged with Yahoo! IDs somewhen in 2006 many people started thinking about moving away from Flickr to some true community alteratives. I’m still very happy with Flickr but I also started looking around the net for alternatives and found 23hq.com which on the first sight looks like a Flickr lite clone. It has:

  • Tags
  • A short registration form
  • A simple privacy policy (“No spam”)
  • A calendar
  • Albums
  • Private and public photos
  • Subscribing to other people’s photo sets

  • You can define for every contact if he/she can see your photos or not.
  • There is a contacts/subscriptions browser which keeps you updated about new photos of your … contacts/subscriptions :)
  • Photos can be downloaded as ZIP (also multiple selected for example by tags)

But it also lacks some features that I really started to like on Flickr:

  • Setting a license for your photos
  • There appears to be no distinction between simple subscriptions, friends and family members.
  • You can only set a photo to be private or not, but you can define for every contact if he/she can see your photos or not.
  • You can’t add notes into your photos but only descriptions
  • There are no groups in the sense of how Flickr uses this term
  • You can’t arrange photos in an album manually but have to use presets like A-Z, by date or shuffle.
  • No favorites
  • No view-count

That said, I think 23hq.com has a lot of potential. The interface is slim and very fast. Sure there are still a few features missing to win my heart but I think they’re on the right way. If you select your real home country in your profile, you’re even greeted on the “Just in” page with photos made by other people from Austria. Really a nice idea :)

I mentioned above, that there are no groups, which seems to be caused by a different interpretation of the term community on these both sites: Flickr uses groups to build communities with not only a focus on photos but also on talk about specific topics. On the other hand 23hq.com uses the photos themselves and the tags associated with them to form communities. If something is interesting, people will post photos about it and/or comment on other photos with this tag. At least that’s the way I think about it.

While I think this idea is really good, I also think that a - at least separated - support forum or mailing list would be quite useful for handling user questions and feature requests. At least a public weblog about updates on the site or something like that :)

Also an about page and a terms of service page would be nice ;)