How to: add your Android-taken photos to Flickr groups

You’d have thought the task was easy enough – Flickr, as the premier photo sharing site in the world (in quality, if not numbers), has supported ‘groups’, communities of like minded snappers, for ages, yet getting your uploaded photos into these groups using just your Android smartphone has been hit and miss over the last year or so. Here’s what to do in the new v3.0.2 and going forwards, to make sure your compositions hit your favourite groups, for appreciation by others.

The issue has been in the way the Flickr app for Android has been rewritten several times recently, with groups functionality getting missed out and then added back in. Yet, even with the latest update it’s still not blindingly obvious how to proceed – hence this short ‘how to’.

‘Groups’ on Flickr are, obviously, groups of users with something in common. While being on Flickr in the first place is being part of a community, it’s an impossibly large one to keep track of – so having specific groups to belong to, each with anything from a handful to thousands of users, becomes a very useful concept. For example, with my Phones Show ‘hat’ on, there’s a dedicated group to just shots taken by listeners and only shot on smartphone cameras. Other common groupings include photos taken on just a particular camera model or just in a particular country. You get the idea.

So, you belong to a Flickr group and have just taken a nice photo on your Android smartphone. How do you get it into the group?

It’s important to realise that you only ever upload a photo once. On Flickr, you then tag the photo appropriately, mess around with its metadata and, if needed, ‘add’ it to a group or too. It’s only a tagging thing – there’s only one copy of the photo on Flickr. (Even though the service then downsamples it to multiple possible download sizes for users, if you allow it!)

  1. Pick the photo you want to upload (etc.) in Gallery. You can also upload directly within the Flickr app, but most people don’t live in the latter, whereas Gallery is usually where you’ll be when the urge to share hits you.
  2. Tap on the share icon (the dots with lines joining) at the top of the screen and then pick Flickr from the list of possible apps to share to/via.
    Sharing to
  3. Add some appropriate text when prompted. Keep it short(er than I’ve done here), since it’s actually going to end up as the title of the photo on Flickr – a longer description can be added later on.
  4. Tap on ‘Share’ and your photo will be on its way up the virtual wires, the upload may take a few tens of seconds, depending on how fast your connection is.
  5. Head over to the official Flickr application and you should see your new photo in pride of place under the ‘me’ tab.
    Shown in Flickr timeline
  6. Tap on it, to bring it up ‘full screen’.
    Full-screen in Flickr
  7. Tap on the share icon (again, three connected dots) and you’ll see that the sharing options within the Flickr app includes ‘+Group’.
    Add to group
  8. Tap this and you’ll be prompted, from the list of Flickr groups that you belong to, as to which one you want to share the photo with.
  9. Done. You might now like to tap on the ‘i’ icon, bottom right, to bring up everything detailed about this photo. Starting with the EXIF data, title, description (you can tap here to add something longer, if you like), and…. which groups the photo now belongs to – with confirmation on the sharing you just successfully completed.
    Info confirmation

This may all sound a bit longwinded, but I’m just trying to spell things out to be helpful. In practice, it’s only a handful of taps, once you ‘get’ the ‘upload and then share’ principle.

Phew! I think the Flickr app development team is done for now. Hopefully any future versions of the application won’t change the way adding to groups works – all over again!