Flickr is a great photo sharing site and certainly one of the biggest photo sharing communities on the web. However, Flickr’s free accounts are severely constrained which limit its usefulness as a photo sharing service for amateur and hobbyist photographers. Only the last 200 photos will be shown for instance and you only get 100 MB of bandwidth per month for upload.
I therefore decided to compile a list of alternatives to Flickr and here are the top 5 in my list:
Lifeblob is a photo service that lets you share your photos with friends and discover related photos of friends. In effect, this means that if you upload a photo of your college convocation, Lifeblob discovers the photos of convocation that you friends have uploaded and shows them next to yours. This feature, in addition to the fact that there is no limit on photos you can upload makes Lifeblob stand apart from others.
You can start by getting your photos from your existing Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket or Facebook accounts and then start uploading rest of your photos directly. You can also email your photos to Lifeblob or use a Picasa desktop extension to upload your photos.
2) Picasa Web Albums
Picasa is the photo sharing service run by Google. The free option gives you 1GB of space for your photos and you can purchase additional space and add it to your account.
The best thing about Picasa is the desktop application that you can install and use it to easily post-process and add special effects to your photos. In fact, the Picasa desktop application even allows other services to integrate with it and services like Lifeblob offer buttons that you can install in your Picasa desktop application to integrate with their services.
Photobucket is another well known photo site, but the free version is very similar to free Flickr. People normally use it to share small images on social networks, but you can certainly use it to store all your photos there. The free version has a limit of 500MB on the storage space, which is still somewhat constraining.
The name Zooomr is very easy to spell incorrectly, but the site is well made and geared towards socially sharing your photos. There are no feature limitations in the free account and a paid account will save you from seeing ads and also show some usage stats on your photos. There is a page called the Zipline which shows all the latest photos and activity of your contacts.
This is another well built site that works very similar to Flickr and has an interface that is pleasing to the eye. The free account lets you upload 30 photos/month which is a bit too restrictive, but you can pay 20 Euro/year to do away with that restriction.
So take your pick out of these depending on your needs, but by far, it looks like Lifeblob is way ahead of others as the best free photo sharing alternative to Flickr.