New toys from Flickr

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With over five billion photos on Flickr, it has moved far beyond a niche hangout for photographer-types. It’s mainstream and it’s social, and it’s embracing that. Or at least it’s going a bit of way towards running with realising that it’s part of the social media phenomenon but trying to maintain some olde worlde charm by introducing Photo Session.

The idea is that you can get all your friends who are scattered across the globe together in one virtual place, be it from their laptops, iPhones, or iPads, to look at photos of your latest trip kayaking down the Nile, at the same time, with conversation, possibly some wine, and doodles. Yes, doodles.

It might be the doodles that gives Photo Session a glimmer of hope

You choose the photos and invite upto ten people to join the session. Then you can flick through your album and yak about the icky colour of the Nile and its fearsome crocodiles until your hearts are content. There are no special requirements, but if your guests want to play with the stuff, like the doodles, then they need a Yahoo! ID.

Now I don’t know about you, but I was kinda glad when photo-sharing websites like Flickr allowed me to escape the mind-numbing marathon sessions of sitting through other people’s interminably boring holiday snaps that left me wondering whether eating the photographic paper might induce a faster death. The Photo Session oodjimaflip seems somehow regressive, no? Maybe the doodles features will salvage it?

In other slightly more practical news, there’s also a shiny new Android app for Flickr. You can take photos, mess around with filters, and then send them on to Flickr, as well as Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else that you share photos online. The interface has been custom-designed for Flickr, so that you can make use of maps and tags and navigate it easily. And of course you can see the comments and activity on your own Flickr photos and look at them full-screen.