As far as I can tell, the last time Flickr included one of my photographs in its daily Explore feature was on Dec. 31, 2019. When one of my photos is Explored, I usually get a deluge of comments saying, “Congrats on Explore!” I then check Scout at Big Huge Labs, which shows you all of your Explored photos.
Recently Flickr sent me an email looking back on 2022, and is showed that I had one photo in Explore. I was surprised to learn of it, because it got no congratulatory comments, and Scout doesn’t include it.
Flickr has changed Explore since SmugMug bought the service several years ago. It is said to always have been driven by their Interestingness algorithm, which evaluates interactions with images to determine which ones Flickr users think are interesting somehow. But there have been some themed days in Explore, such as photos of birds, or photos by artists of color.
Between 2013 and 2019, my work was featured in Explore 32 times. In 2020, they “fine tuned” (their words) that algorithm — and to my knowledge, my work has not been featured in Explore since.
When my photos were still getting Explored, it was a lot of fun because of all the views and interaction an Explored photo received. I gained a lot of followers because of Explore. My photo that was allegedly Explored in 2022 received none of that goodness: a meager 343 views (as of the day I’m writing this) and only one comment, which was from someone who followed me already.
A long time ago I wrote an article here about what I learned about improving your chances of being Explored. Forget everything I said in it, because I’ve been doing those things all along and they haven’t worked since the end of 2019. I’m not sure how Explore works at all anymore. Maybe you know, and can shed some light.
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