Photo Sharing

Barbara J. Feldman

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a growing collection of unorganized digital photos. And, as camera resolutions improve, file sizes get bigger, and even emailing pictures to friends and family becomes nearly impossible. Each of today’s picks take a slightly different approach to sharing and managing digital photos, but all of them are free.

  • Facebook5 stars

    Facebook is the social sharing site we either love or love to hate, depending on the time of day. But it is exactly because of its ubiquity that it is a marvelous photo-sharing tool. We can use it on our phones, on our desktops, and even your elderly Aunt Martha has an account. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the privacy settings, where you can share with all your Facebook friends or create family groups to limit photo viewing. Even if your photos are not specifically private, you can choose to create a family group so that your work friends (et cetera) are not overwhelmed with pictures of the family's newest little darling. Facebook is, however, only for those thirteen and up.

  • Flickr5 stars

    Flickr is one of my all-time favorites for online photo management and sharing, and they recently gave everyone 1000GB of free storage. That's one terabyte and it's enough space for more than 500,000 photos. As for separating G-rated photos from the rest, Flickr asks users to categorize their own photos into three content safety levels: safe, moderate or restricted. Users can also set their search preferences to SafeSearch. As with most communities, policing is a public duty, so photos that are incorrectly flagged are usually reported.

  • Instagram4 stars

    Although Instagram is primarily an app for smart phones, it does finally have a website for viewing photos, but not for uploading new ones. There are two ways to limit who can view your Instagram photos and videos. First is to set your account to private so that only approved followers can view them. The second is to individually control who can view an upload by using Instagram Direct. This is a separate tab on the Instagram app, and let's you choose viewers on a photo-by-photo basis. Unfortunately there is no group sharing, so you will need to name each specific family member each time you share a photo.

  • Picasa5 stars

    Picasa is both a tool for organizing photos on your computer, and a website for sharing and publishing photo albums. To begin, download the free Windows or Mac application, and let Picasa automatically find all your local photos and movies. The online component is now integrated into Google+, where you have total free storage limit of 15GB shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. On Google+, family photos can be easily shared by creating a Google+ Circle.

  • Shutterfly5 stars

    Although Shutterfly is known for printing photos and creating photo albums, your free membership also includes free private websites for sharing photos and videos with family. When starting a site, you can choose from templates for family, sports teams, classroom, a special event, baby, wedding, travel and more. All of your site members can download your pix or order prints and photo books.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Photo Sharing." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 1 Jul. 2014. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. < >.

  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published July 1, 2014. Last modified July 1, 2014.

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