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15 Stunning Hidden Gems In Flickr’s Rich Archive

Flickr’s GM and VP Brett Wayn, product head Markus Spiering, product designer Cindy Li, and other Flickr team members expose their favorite sets.

Flickr’s archive is different. While you might search through Facebook’s 240 billion photos on social terms–using the social network’s new graph search to find, for instance, “photos of friends in New York”–and Instagram’s search-box surfaces “users and hashtags,” only Flickr prioritizes its photos before real-world social networks.

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The site’s broad inventory spans more than 1.6 million interest groups. It’s designed to help you find content you’ll enjoy browsing, even if you don’t know who took the photos or why, and that gives it a unique niche in the photo ecosystem.

“I think of Flickr as a marketplace–not necessarily buyers and sellers, but contributors and consumers,” says the service’s GM and VP, Brett Wayn. “There are people who are huge contributors, and there are people who are good curators. They don’t actually contribute, but they pull other people’s contributions into collections like groups. And then they have a huge amount of people who are consumers.”


Flickr houses predictably fascinating collections from the Library of Congress, NASA, the White House, and the British Royal Family. But it’s the hidden gems that make its archive special. Wayn, product head Markus Spiering, product designer Cindy Li, and other Flickr team members share some of their favorites in the slide show above and the list below:

[Double Exposure Image: Flickr user Khánh Hmoong]

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About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.

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