Birds are popular in Flickr Explore

How to get featured in Flickr Explore

Upload a new image to Flickr and suddenly find it has 10,000 views? You’ve probably been featured in Explore, a special section of Flickr that highlights the most interesting new photos on the site. But how do you get featured in Explore and how do you know you’ve been featured there? We’ll try to explain as best as we can.

How do I know if my photo has been featured in Explore?

Flickr won’t tell you when you’ve been featured. If you think you may have been featured and want to check, you can view all photos featured in Explore over the last 7 days here. This can however take a while.

Alternatively, you can enter your Flickr username on this site from Big Huge Labs and quickly see all of your photos that have been featured. Keep in mind that photos can quickly appear and disappear from the Explore page, so we recommend using the Big Huge Labs tool to see the Explore status of all your photos.


Flickr Scout from Big Huge Labs is an amazing tool.

Other times users will comment directly on your photo and mention they found it in Explore. We think it’s a nice gesture.

How do you get a picture in Flickr Explore?

Flickr is tight-lipped on precisely how its algorithm chooses featured photos. Photos that get many views, favorites, and comments within a few hours of uploading are the most likely to be included. It’s generally not possible for an image older than 24 hours to be featured.

So it’s all about getting attention. This is easier to do if you have an active group of followers and post your image in popular groups. Note that Flickr will not feature a photo in Explore if it has been added to more than 3 groups. You can also favorite others’ photos immediately after uploading to shake the scales in your favor as well. Doing this excessively will count against you, however.

What is best time to upload for Flickr Explore?

Flickr Explore looks for images with the most views, favorites, and comments in the shortest amount of time. So it only makes sense that you upload when your followers are most likely to be online. You’ll need to check which time zone most of them are in and judge based on this. We tend to favor early afternoon Eastern US time as this maximizes the likelihood of people on the East Coast, West Coast, and Europe all being able to see your image at once.

How long can you stay in Flickr Explore?

Anywhere from 5 minutes to all day. Once you get into Explore, you need to keep getting views and favorites to stay there. Thus if you make it to Explore and then the image doesn’t turn out to be as popular as the others, it will quickly be kicked to the curb in favor of another.

Why does it seem like certain users always end up in Explore?

The more followers you have and the more active these followers are, the easier it is to have an image featured. This is why you see how many bird and plane images in Flickr Explore– planespotters and bird watchers are active groups with strong engagement on Flickr. Other users may be featured in Explore simply because they have amassed a large following and publish interesting photos.

However, you shouldn’t worry too much about Explore. You also certainly should not shift your photographic focus just to be featured there. We recommend shooting what you love and engaging with the Flickr community regularly. Once you improve your active follower base, you will shoot something amazing that hits Explore in no time.