Differences Between Flickr & Tumblr

by David Nield

The easiest way to start thinking about Flickr and Tumblr is to see Flickr as a photo sharing site and Tumblr as a blogging platform. Flickr is a great place to host your pictures and short video clips, while Tumblr enables you to publish photos, videos, links, audio and more besides. Both services can be used to display your images for others to see on the Web.

Core Differences

Flickr is designed as a photo sharing service which can also handle video clips. Your pictures and movies appear as part of your photostream, and you have full control over who can see each one. Images can be sorted into sets and groups. Tumblr, meanwhile, is a fully fledged publishing platform with a photo sharing element -- while it doesn't offer as many controls for organizing your pictures, it does enable you to produce a professional-looking blog complete with multiple post types, a customizable theme and even its own domain name if required.

Photo Sharing Differences

Flickr is geared towards storing and sharing your pictures. You can sort them into albums, set privacy options on each individual image and embed photo slideshows in other sites -- none of this is possible in Tumblr. On Tumblr, photos are treated in the same way as any other type of post, so they can be shared on a private blog or a public one, and labeled with tags to provide a rudimentary sorting system. Flickr enables you to set limits on the resolution at which your pictures can be downloaded, and though this can be done on Tumblr, it largely depends on the theme you have installed.

Account Differences

Flickr offers two types of accounts: a standard free account with an upload limit of two videos and 300MB worth of photos each month, and a Pro account (costing $1.87/month or more as of February 2013) which does away with these restrictions. Pro account holders can upload an unlimited number of photos and access all their photos in full resolution. Tumblr, in contrast, offers only free accounts which enable users to upload as many images as they wish. Video and audio files can also be uploaded and hosted for no charge.

Social Networking Differences

Both Flickr and Tumblr enable you to share links to your photos on Twitter and Facebook automatically, and both platforms enable you to follow other users and be followed in return within the network. Flickr enables you to discover popular photos uploaded by other users; Tumblr broadens this to cover all types of popular content (though photos are included). Flickr enables you to create favorites and comment on other photos and videos, while Tumblr enables you to "love" and reblog content posted by others.

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images