Well, before starting I’ve to say how I started using zooomr. I had a flickr pro account, was quite happy, but didn’t understand why I had to pay 25 US$ for a service which is fairly slow, sometimes buggy and not always easy to use. After my pro account expired, I found out, that of my more tham 1,000 photos only the last 200 are still available, if I want to get access again to the other ones, I have to re-sign up for a pro account. I was not amused. So, I started a few searches on google and found two options which interested me: 23hq and zooomr . So, 23hq seemed to be really interesting to me for the fact, that the company is located in Europe, and some speedtests I made really surprised me. Also the menu structure is fairly intuitive, the organizing of photos in albums is easy and the other features seemed interesting as well. And, for an account with unlimited(!) space for photos they ask only 29 Euros/year. I signed up for a free account, and then I found zooomr. I just started using 23hq, when I found out, that the guys at zooomr are giving away free pro accounts for bloggers. Hey, I sad to myself, why not trying them out, some features listed on there homepage seem to be intersting. So, I’m a zooomr pro now, and after using the service for several days, uploading about 500 photos, here a short review. Lets start with what I like and what I don’t like. I like:

  • the web uploading interface is easy to use
  • although I heard bad things about speed problems, I’ve to say, I didn’t have any problems with slow page loadings ecc.
  • the geotagging of the photos is great! Guys, I love you for that!
  • the organizing of the photos in smartsets is different at the beginning, but once you know how to use it, it’s very useful
  • the trackback feature is intersting. That what I really missed at flickr.
  • people can be added to the photos. So you can build up a social network
  • you can use your google account to login (or you create an openid, which you can use for other services as well)

I don’t like:

  • they don’t have an api (well, I’ve to say, the api should be on the way, Kris wrote that in an email, after I requested an api-key)
  • they only have a web interface where you can upload photos, no desktop application or other way of uploading photos (if they get the api running, then this should change quickly)
  • you can’t add notes to the photos (I, as an old flickr user, really like that)
  • you can’t create specific photosets with selected photos only (the smartsets are always created based on certain rules, so for example, it’s hard, if not to say impossible, to create a photoset with your favourite pictures)
  • you can’t have a favourite photo collection (I really miss that!!!)
  • they don’t have a community system, there are no groups, they don’t even have a support forum (well, they have a blog)

I found some articles on the web, where they say that zooomr is planning to charge about 20US$/year for 2.5GB transfer volume per month. So, if I had to choose a paid service already now, I think my choice would have been 23hq, more or less same features as flickr, a lot faster page loadings then flickr, and unlimited photo hosting. The lack of geotagging wouldn’t have been a problem for me. Don’t get me wrong, zooomr is interesting, and for sure I keep following what they’re doing. But there are other things which made me confuse: Guy’s you’re copying flickr, even your logo. You’re trying to do it as flickr-like as possible, but the lack of some so muched love features won’t help you to get flickr users like me to use your service. And, what’s disturbing me most, is the fact, that I don’t know how zooomr is going on. When do they bring new features? When do they start to charge for the accounts and how much? When is the api finally coming? For a lot of flickr users out there, the obvious answer and my recommandation at this time is: stick with flickr. For myself I keep trying out zooomr, for the fact that I don’t like that you can’t access your photos if you don’t renew your membership with flickr and that zooomr is still free. If they start to charge for the accounts, without integrating new (old?) features, I’m off to 23hq.