Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Yahoo! Photos: Relaunching

Category: Showcase, Yahoo!

People talk of the Yahoo! Flickr acquisition, butYahoo! Photos has many, many more users. So, it is about time to see it get a face lift, which Yahoo! has done, and is rolling out a limited beta release.

Product highlights include:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality for easy organization and photo sharing
  • Photo tagging—or labeling—for easy viewing and searching
  • Enhanced interaction with friends and family with ability to share comments and provide instantaneous access to photos
  • Point-and-click tag and caption editing
  • Smart Albums that detect newly tagged photos and automatically add tagged photos to albums
  • Open APIs to encourage third-party use and collaboration
  • Integration with leading Yahoo! services, including Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, Mobile and 360
  • Downloadable high-resolution photos

Max Kiesler has just gotten back from the launch event and seems impressed:

Two features of note were the infinite scroll and the drag and drop functionality. I know what you’re saying, “not another web app with slow unusable drag and drop”. This drag and drop was very smooth and had some unique functionality. The ability to multiple select images by clicking your mouse and dragging your highlight (just like on your desktop) was one of my favorite features. You can also multiple select by control clicking as many photos as you like. From a design standpoint what happens to the photos during the drag process was rather cool. After you multiple select photos they shrink to tiny thumbnails and cluster around the mouse, then you can drag them into a well at the top of the page. As you start the drag process the well appears at the top of the page no matter how far down the page you are then it disappears. This is a very nice answer to the drag and drop well issue that many of us have had to design for recently.

The other item of note was the infinite scroll. While this is not an entirely new concept it is a great feature for a photo site. For those of you who have not seen this yet, it basically lets you add data, in this case photos to the page asynchronously as you scroll down the page. So even if you have 10,000 photos they can all be reached from one page very quickly.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:52 am

4 rating from 39 votes


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To clarify a few things: Images “progressively” load, or load on demand.

When you load a page, your scrollbar is long enough for a full page of photos (currently 100 photos make up a “page”), but the thumbnails are only loaded as they are scrolled into view. This makes the experience snappier and more lightweight, because bandwidth use is minimized.

There is no “infinite” scrolling feature on the site at this time, though some investigations were done in this area (and I thought the idea of a single, long-scrolling page would be really cool.) There are a number of browser limitations and other factors which resulted in the current implementation.

The animation effects have practical reasons and are not just strictly eye candy, but I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time just playing with the drag and drop myself, making sure the effects were solid. ;) It has been a lot of fun developing this thing (I’m one of a team of developers on this project); I think the “fun” factor is reflected in the UI and the whole site overall. Given it’s in beta, bugs are being ironed out and features are still being added.

Comment by Scott Schiller — June 8, 2006

Hhe, I love the minimalistic, pure text, approach they are taking:

RESULT=49 – TCookie invalid


Comment by Brian McCallister — June 8, 2006

People talk of the Yahoo! Flickr acquisition, but Yahoo! Photos has many, many more users. So, it is about time to see it get a face lift, which Yahoo! has done, and is rolling out a limited beta release.

Do you really believe in that? I mean, yeah, people talk about Tahoo! Flickr acquisition and yes, Yahoo! Photos has many many more users. So, why is it expectable for them to get the good features of the best one into the most used one, instead of fusing both applications in only one, to get the best and the most used (which is a feature per se, social Web2.0 apps are only worthy having users) into one only application, instead of maintaining two of them? Sorry, but I don’t think that this is a good decision.

Comment by Mind Booster Noori — June 8, 2006

the major sites seemed to be nearing an end to the cycle of providing full dhtml support to their major services. whats next? i haven’t seen a truly new compelling app (that can make a lot of money) for the web stack in some time. i don’t count video – this is binary data and exists outside the web stack.

has the web stack reached its limits? i see types of commerce and interaction in environments like secondlife that are far beyond anything we could wedge into the web stack.

Comment by fartikus — June 10, 2006

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