Yesterday, Flickr, one of the most popular photo sharing websites on the web, released a new and long overdue feature called "Find Your Friends", that helps you find your friends using your Yahoo (of course), Gmail, and Microsoft Live Hotmail address book. I’d like to thank Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb for letting me in on this announcement via Twitter!
I tried it out myself using my Gmail account and I was excited to see that it uses Gmail’s new Contacts API. It’s also the first web application I’ve seen use the new Contacts API. Using Gmail’s new Contacts API is much more secure way of allowing a service to retrieve your contacts because you don’t have to share your password with Flickr or any service that utilizes the new API. Once you’re signed into Google and you enter in your address into Flickr, you’ll get a screen that asks you if you want to grant Flickr one time access to your contacts. Google gives you the option of revoking this access at any time through your ‘My Account’ settings. So, Flickr doesn’t get access to your password and personal information, just your contacts. You can grant the access or deny it and not worry about a thing.
My friends were found with no problems. The default options are set to ‘Do not add’, which gives you have the option of being selective about who you want to add. If you find that you want to add everyone there’s a button at the bottom of the contacts list that will add everyone with just one click. Also, you can see in the screenshot below that you can set the contact level for everyone on the same page. This will be a huge time-saver for those who are pretty nit-picky about organizing their friends, family, and other contacts on Flickr.
Flickr, What Took You So Long?!
I honestly never knew Flickr didn’t have this feature before and I’m wondering what the hell took them so long?! This should have been a standard featured integrated from the beginning or at least when Yahoo! bought Flickr. Nevertheless, I like the user interface (UI) for the new feature. The process was simple, easy, and secure and took all of 15 seconds of my time.
Protecting Your Password
I also really enjoy the fact that Flickr is using Gmail’s new Contacts API. Hopefully it will encourage other sites and services to do the same. It definitely helps me to trust the Yahoo! brand because they’re using the latest technology available and not being lazy about something that most people are and should be paranoid about, and yet are pretty careless about: giving out your password. How many times have you given an application your username and password just to get a couple of contacts? Yahoo! is definitely going the extra mile to not get caught up in that discussion, which is good. It’s nice to see they’re paying attention.