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Flickr Becomes Instagram's Android Nemesis

Flickr launched an official app for Android, a platform that Instagram has avoided.

Flickr has launched an official app for Android phones, one that rivals the popular Instagram social photo-sharing app that is exclusive to iOS. Flickr also announced Photo Sessions, a feature that lets you watch photo slideshows with friends in real time, anywhere around the globe.

Flickr, owned by Yahoo, has missed the social photo-sharing revolution on the iPhone, where its plain app only allows you to view and upload photos taken with your phone. Instagram on the other hand, with its funky photo filters and Facebook and Twitter integration, has gained more than 10 million users in a year. Some would even say that Instagram made off-focus and tinted photos popular again.

Instagram hasn’t treaded on Google’s Android platform, which is where Flickr now hopes to stake its claim. The Flickr Android app, available now free from the Android Market, has 10 photo filters via a built-in camera viewfinder interface. Like Instagram, it lets you see geotagged photos on a Google map and comment and share your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

It’s unknown whether Flickr will port the new functionality to its iOS app. According to Flickr’s own stats, the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera used on the site, outclassing cameras from Nikon and Canon. As for Android, the HTC Evo 4G is the only Android smartphone in Flickr’s camera use rankings, at number four, behind the iPhone 4, 3G and 3GS in the cameraphone category.

Jump in a photo session

Flickr also launched a cool feature called Photo Session that allows users to see the same photos in real time, without being in the same room. The feature works on computers and iOS devices by generating a unique URL that lasts 24 hours that you can share with up to 10 friends or family members.

Once they join the Photo Session, the initiator can control the slideshow, so that the other users see all your interactions with the pictures in real time, from swiping between photos to zooming in or drawing. There’s also a chat box at the bottom, but unfortunately no voice chat integration.

Here’s Flickr’s video of how Photo Sessions work:

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