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Print Flickr Photos Using Just-Launched Qoop

Qoop just launched their public beta, which allows you to print out photos that you have uploaded to Flickr. The service is pretty nice, and I'm sure it will get better over time, but for me there's one big problem with it: you can't yet print out single photos. I can't imagine that printing out a collage of photos as a poster or in a book was at the top of everybody's list, and it seems more difficult to do than to print out single copies of photos. I'm sure it's coming soon, though.

The implementation model is pretty neat, too: Qoop uses Flickr's publically-available APIs to get at your photos--essentially, Flickr has outsourced its photo-printing capabilities through a mechanism that already existed. Neat.

Sujal has an interesting observation:

I got a [Flickr] pro account after I found FlickrExport, a plugin for iPhoto that allows users to export to Flickr directly from iPhoto. Itís that missing feature that Yahoo Photos or Ofoto didnít have. By having the API, a third party was able to create the missing feature, improving Flickr at the same time. Itís a great situation.

The main risk with doing this is that users can be more mobile. In other words, they can export data to a competing service, especially if the competing service simply implements the public API. Also, sites that rely on advertising for revenue may not want users looking at content on other sites or applications. For example, doesnít offer full stories via RSS because it would cut into our advertising (RSS is essentially a web API for content).

Making a publically available API for the data you collect forces you to keep making your products better. Open APIs are powerful statement to customers that you believe your product will continue to be best-of-breed, and a powerful incentive to you to make sure it stays that way.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Sujal Shah said on Sep 1 2005:

I suspect that Qoop doesn't want to get into the single photo printing business. I'll be surprised if Flickr doesn't have that soon anyway with whatever partner Yahoo Photos now uses.

Qoop is more of a micro publisher. Battelle's Searchblog print edition is what I think they really want to get into, printing books on demand and the like -- things that you can't do with a $100 printer at home. :)

2. kareem said on Sep 1 2005:

It probable that you're right, but it just seems like Qoop's business is much more niche than being able to print photos.

My complaint was really a reflection on Flickr than Qoop; I'd bet that printing photos is a very common feature request, and am disappointed that when they partnered with a printing service, they didn't make printing photos a reality.

3. Bill said on Sep 4 2005:

FYI QOOP will definitely offer photo printing, but Yahoo may handle things differently and from postings on flickr blogs I would stay tuned. And the books were a WAY HARDER problem for sure.

And FYI QOOP is a printing API vs. just a publisher - stay tuned cool stuff is coming.

- Bill

4. kareem said on Sep 5 2005:

Thanks for posting, Bill.

Definitely the books are a harder problem to solve; I just wonder about the market size (although I'm sure you guys did your homework and know a hell of a lot more about it than I).

Also, I remember reading somewhere that Flickr only wanted to work with partners with the same "web 2.0" philosophy about data... which means I a) expected a QOOP API =), and b) I have high hopes for what we'll see from QOOP in the future.


5. Bill said on Sep 5 2005:

Kareem -

Photo Books are a very big market actually.

And with our soon to launch API we plan to be the Web 2.0 printer. All our products are made with our API we just haven't cleaned it up enough to release it into the wild yet. But we are working madly on it.


- Bill

6. kareem said on Sep 5 2005:

Er, what I meant to write was, I wonder about the market size of printed books vs. photos. But, like i said, I'm sure you guys have done your homework.

And, looking forward to interesting products that the QOOP API facilitates!

7. Geo Perdis said on Sep 6 2005:

I thought you might be interested to see what QOOP is doing to raise money for Katrina Disaster relief.


Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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