Flickr Explore: What is it?

Flickr has many unique features and applications that can help you easily locate interesting photographs and images, including the feature Flickr Explore. This feature not only gives you a look at pictures recently posted to the site, but also tracks what it deems the most interesting pictures that have been posted since August 2004. For people who want a visually stimulating array of pictures, Flickr Explore will provide a diverse range of subjects.

How Flickr Chooses Explore Pictures

Flickr Explore relies on an impartial judge to distinguish which photos on the site are the most "interesting." A complex algorithm  calculates something Flickr calls "interestingness." Photos are picked based on many different aspects, like number of times the pictures appears on users's Favorites, times a picture is saved or downloaded, captions and comments associated with the picture and the number of times a photo is viewed. Throughout the day, the algorithm runs, taking into account all new pictures added since midnight Pacific Standard Time that morning.

Flickr ensures that everyone has a chance to be displayed on Explore by occasionally changing the factors used in the algorithm. By changing the algorithm, Flickr can vary the types of pictures and artists that appear on Explore. Some other aspects Flickr has changed include increasing the number of pictures featured from 50 to 500, and the calendar view was not part of the original version. If you want to increase your chances of getting a picture in the top 500, do not add the picture to many different groups, this will actually hurt your chances of being chosen.

Evolving "Interestingness" Over Time

Using the Scout feature, Flickr records and stores all of the pictures that were recorded in the top 500 for a single day. Since this is a way of tracking the top 500, recordings are not made official until midnight. Even though you may have a picture temporarily ranked on Flickr Explore, if it does not remain on Explore through midnight of the day that you post it, the picture will not be recorded among the 500 most interesting. Your picture may go up and down in ranking for years after you post it because the statistics of all photos on Flickr are constantly being viewed, commented on, and downloaded. If your picture continues to get activity, you may have achieve higher standing on Explore; if your pictures gets fewer views than others loaded on the same day, your ranking will go down.

Pictures will always be in competition with other pictures loaded to Flickr during one particular day. Your best ranked picture may not be your highest ranking on Explore if it posted on a day with stiffer competition.

Removing Your Picture from Explore

If you do not want your pictures to show up on Flickr Explore you have a couple of methods to remove them. The easiest method is just to delete it on the Explore page, but if it continues to get traffic, it could wind up back on the site. Setting your picture's setting to private or hiding it from public searches is a more reliable way to remove it and keep it from reappearing on Explore.

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