How Flickr developed into a classic Web 2.0 success

According to some market research I read recently, the world market for digital cameras is predicted to reach 122 million units by 2010.That seems like an underestimate to me. Everyone I know has at least one camera, and most cellphones seem to have one. Some Nokia phones now come with 5 megapixel cameras and Zeiss lenses, enabling their users to produce images of quite startling quality.So, every day, billions of digital photographs are taken. Until four years ago, a predictable response would have been a shrug. Very few digital pictures were printed; most were uploaded to a PC, where they mouldered on a hard drive and were rarely viewed thereafter.But in late February 2004, a small Vancouver-based start-up changed all that. It launched, an image-hosting service that enabled users to upload their pictures, have them automatically resized and given a unique URL, and displayed on the web for all to see. So suddenly instead of crashing your friends’ inboxes and choking their bandwidth by sending them images as email attachments, you could send them a link and they could see for themselves.

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