About 23




And finally...

What is 23?

23 is simple and smart photo sharing for all of us. 23 is created and maintained by a small dedicated team of people. None of us are professional photographers, but we carry our digital cameras in our pocket more often than not.

Digital photography has made a lot of things easier since the days of the celluloid film camera. Taking photos has never been so uncomplicated. A lot of the time, though, all these photos just pile up on our own computer. And when we do share them between friends and family, we bloat each others mailboxes with large image files.

What we felt was missing was a tool that made storing, organizing, and sharing these photos truly easy and simple. 23 is here to take digital photography the next leap forward. Back to sharing.

Is 23 completely free?

Yes, you can use 23 services absolutely free. You'll be able to upload 30 photos for free every month, and if that's not enough you can Go Plus and get unlimited upload.

How many photos can I store on my account?

23 does not enforce quotas on storage. This means that you can have as many photos stored on your account as you like. Free and paid accounts alike.

How do I upload photos?

There are two ways to get photos into your account. You can upload photos via the web interface. Just go to the upload page, and use the web form. You can upload as many photos as you like at one time.

We urge you to install a recent version of Flash on your computer. If you do this, you can select multiple photos at once and follow the progress as each photo is uploaded.

You can also send photos to your photo account via mail. This is especially handy if you want to send photos from your camera phone, while on the move (you may want to check up on the availability and cost of mobile internet services with your telecom provider). In the settings page you can set up a special "secret" mail address for your photo account. Use this address to post photos on your photo pages.

How many photos can I upload?

On our free account you can upload 30 photos per month, although newly signed-up users have an extra 300 photos to upload the first week. 23 Plus users can upload as many photos as they'd like.


What is latest photos?

Latest photos is the front page of your photo pages. Latest photos is a kind of chronological trail or log of all the photos you put into your account. The page provides easy access to your photos for you, as well as the people you're sharing with.

How do I delete a photo?

On every photo page you'll find a 'delete photo' button under every photo. If the photos is one of you recent uploads, you can also go to your 'latest photos' page and delete the photo from there. If you want to delete multiple photos at one time, you can do so in your 'Organiser'. Please remember that deleting a photo cannot be undone. Once deleted, it's gone.

How can I edit my photos?

The edit section has two basic modes. Edit photos allows you to edit photo descriptions and to add tags to a particular selection of photos one-by-one. The other mode, batch operations, lets you edit a selection of photos by making the same edit operations to a sub-section (quite difficult to describe in words, but actually painless to perform). From here you can add tags, set privacy levels, move photos to other albums, remove them or delete photos permanently.


Can I upload photos from my camera phone?

Yes, you can send photos to your photo account via mail, a handy way to send photos from your camera phone, while on the move (you also need to check with your telecom provider on the availability and cost of mobile internet services). In the settings page you can set up a special "secret" mail address for your photo account. Use this address to post photos on your photo pages.

I have a lot of photos. How do I find them?

Finding specific photos on your hard drive can often be like searching for a needle in a haystack. 23 have made organizing and finding photos a lot easier than it used to be. First and foremost: there is no "right way" you should organize your photos in order to be able to find them again. Our approach is to accommodate different ways of organizing your photos, and letting you have different entries to your stuff. Browsing your albums are often useful ways to find photos. Browsing your tags is another way to locate things. After some time you're likely to have a body of useful tags (keywords) to help you navigate through your photos. Information about the date and time the photo was taken, or the day the photo was uploaded to your photo account are other useful ways of finding photos. Your calendar and your latest photos timeline provides different ways to access your photo archives by time and date.

How do I organize my photos?

You can organize your photos in the Organize section. From here you can edit photos, add photos to existing albums, create new albums, and more.

Another more loose way of organizing and your photos is by tagging them with keywords. Tags can be used as 'selectors'.

Why are my photos re-sized?

All photos you put into your account, will be resized to more web- and screen-friendly sizes. Each photo has thumbnails, a medium size version and a large version. The original file size are, of course, still available. The large and original size can be accessed via the download link found on every photo page.

Do you guys have an API?

Sure. 23 offers an API which is fully compatible with the Flickr API. It's all documented in the 23 API Documentation.

How do albums work?

Albums are one of several ways to help you organize your photos. Using albums on 23, however, differ from the physical world's photo albums in significant ways. The most important difference is that any one photo can be associated with several albums. Albums works this way primarily as selections of photos not as folders. The photos are kept chronologically in your photo archive, and can be easily accessed from your photo calendar.

That a photo can be associated to more than one album can sometimes be very practical, because it allows your photos to be organized in different ways. A photo from your daughter's birthday may be associated with the Maria's Birthday Party album, but also be a part of the Maria Growing Up album. A photo of the Forum Romanum can be a part of your Vacation in Rome album, as well as a part of your ongoing Very Old Stuff & Antiquity Highlights album. This way, a photo can be organized as a part of different contexts or 'stories'. If you prefer, you can always organize your photos in the tried and trusted one photo-one album manner, or you can not use albums at all. Whatever suits your taste and purpose.

There are other ways of making selections of your photos, for instance by using tags.

How can I create an album?

The fastest and easiest way is to create an album while uploading photos. On the upload page you can choose to associate the photos you're uploading to any existing album or to create a new album.

You can click the "Add a new album" button in the Album section. You can always add photos to an album by clicking the "Add photos..." link in the sidebar menu in each album.

How can I delete an album?

To delete an album, go to the specific album page, where you'll find a "Delete this album" link. Remember, deleting an album does not delete the photos in that album (see how does albums work), but only the album itself.

If I delete an album, do I delete the photos in it, too?

No. An album is not a folder where the photos are kept or stored. Deleting an album simply removes the particular album from your albums list (see also how albums work). Photos can be associated with more than one album, and albums works basically as frames or selectors where photos can be accessed and presented. See also how to delete an album.

How can I remove a photo from an album?

To remove a photo, click on the edit link found on the album page. In the edit tabs choose 'batch operations' from where you can select the photos you wish to remove.

How can I arrange the photos in an album?

When you create an album the photos are per default arranged in that order they are selected to the set. It is easy, however, to change this. In the edit section found on every set page you can click on the arrange link to make changes.

What are tags?

Tags are a way to organize, search and explore photos (yours and others'). Tags are basically keywords or labels that you can attach to your photos, to make it easier to find it later, or to help you make special cross-sections of your photos. You can tag a photo of your brother and his old Fiat 500 with tags like luigi fiat cars (in this case 3 tags, but you can put as many or few as you like to your photos). If you at some point later on wish to find all the photos of cars in your collection, you can click on the tag 'cars' to get the photos with that tag. On your tags page you can see all the tags used on your photos, weighted after how often they're used. This makes for an easy and fun way to browse your photos.

What's the calendar for?

The calendar is your photo archive where all your photos are organized by month. From here you can browse your photos using a simple and familiar calendar interface. You can also make a note to each month, which not only helps you locating photos (yours as well as friends and family members photos with a photo account), but also makes browsing experience more fun.

How can I share my photos with others?

There are many ways you can share your photos using 23. It mostly depends of how you wish to use your photo account. You can share photos via our email-based sharing system. This is an easy and convenient way of sharing photos with your friends and family, and your friends and family do not have to have an account to see your photos. You can even have 23 automatically email your friends and family when you upload new photos. This way they'll always be able to keep up with you even if they don't check your 23 account regularly. To do so, go to Send.

Of course, you can also invite people to join you on 23. This way you can subscribe to each others photos, post comments and more. If your friends are photo-fans like yourself, this is a very simple and powerful way of keeping each other updated on a regular basis.

Another way is to go public. You can use 23 to make a public website with your photos. If you're an enthusiast this is a great way to let the world know about your photos (and to see photos of like-minded shutterbugs). You can also use 23 as a moblog tool if you're into camphones and advanced networked photography. 23 has full RSS support which means that your photos can be published as XML feeds and used for distributed sharing.

How can I invite people to see my photos?

Simply use the invite form to send an invitation mail.

What are contacts?

Contacts is where you manage your subscriptions as well as people's access to your photos (which people are allowed to see your private photos and which people are not). In your contacts you can also keep track of your invitations.

How do I add a contact?

There are two ways you can add a contact. One is simply to invite people in. If they accept your invitation and sign up for an account (which, of course, is completely free) they get automatically listed as one of your contacts. Another way is to browse the community section of the 23 site. If you see someone who's photos you like, you can subscribe to the photos in your viewer and thereby add the person to your list of contacts.

What does Subscriptions do?

The viewer is 23's equivalent to a feed reader. Not everyone are familiar with these kinds of tools, but essentially this is a handy way to have subscription-based photo sharing. The basic idea is to allow people—friends, relatives, or people with mutual interests—to keep each other updated with each others latest photos. In the subscription panel you can keep track of who of your contacts has new photos posted, then click on a name on the list to see what's new.

Whether you prefer this kind of subscription-based photo sharing or you prefer to share photos via the mail-based sharing system is a matter of taste. Some people share a lot of photos and like to keep each other updated continually, other prefer less high-paced ways of sharing their photos. It's up to you.

Can everyone see my photos?

It depends. Your photos can be private or public, or you can choose to keep some of your photos private and some public, if you like. When you open a 23 account your default setting are set to private. The default setting can also be seen on your upload page where your privacy preferences are pre-selected in the upload form.

Also, see our note on privacy at the bottom of this page.

How does this send photos thing work?

Send photos is a fresh take on email-based photo sharing. The idea is that you can send any photo, album or any other selection of photos to your friends, family, colleagues, etc., without bloating their inbox with large image files. Instead they receive a mail from you with an image preview and a link to a page with the photos you've selected. The photos on the page are shown in a web- and screen-friendly format with options to download hi-res versions for printing purposes.

How do I control who sees my photos?

Your photos can be private or public, or if you like, you can choose to keep some of your photos private and some public. If your photos are private it means that they are only visible to yourself and people that you have granted access to.

If you want to share a certain type of photos with exclusive groups of people i.e. your family. It's always easy to create private photogroups for these select groups. This allows you to create infinite "categories" of contacts like colleagues, family, friends, best-friends or enemies etc. And note, that they don't even need to have a 23 account to be granted access to your private stash of photos.

Can anyone comment on my photos?

Yes. If you, for some reason, prefer not to have comments on your photos, you can turn it of in your settings under My account.

Are my photos copyrighted?

By default, you own the copyright to your own material (photos and text descriptions) made available others on your own photo pages. This applies whether the material is made public for everyone, or shared among a smaller group of people with access to your private posts.

You can control rights on either all of your photos or on individual photos with Creative Commons licenses. This lets you allow more liberal use and sharing of photos.


What is 23's screening policy?


Finally, a note on privacy

Not all photos are for everyone, and it's always a good thing to consider with who and how you want to share photos. You may want to grant certain people the right to see all your private photos, you may want to publish some photos for the whole world to see. Both are easily done by using the privacy settings proactively, when you upload photos (you can, of course, always change this afterwards on any individual photo).

In some cases you may want to share a number of private photos with some people, without giving them access to all of your private photos. This is easily done by using the "send photos" function, where only the selected private photos can be accessed by the recipients you've chosen to share with. This way you can, for instance, share photos with some of your colleagues, without giving them access to your more personal photos.

There is—on a more general level—a strong trend on the internet to publish personal photos and diaries on weblogs and community-based websites. The boundary between personal, private and public is certainly not as clear as it was just a few years ago. Even though this trend (some call it a media revolution) has many positive and empowering effects on people's lives, perhaps even on society as a whole, it is also good advice for everyone to consider the implications before "going public" on the internet. Do you wish everyone to see the photos of you children, your friends having a party, or the house where you live? The answer to such questions is highly personal. We do not want to scare anyone off with these remarks—in fact, most of the 23 team has been an active part of the "personal publishing revolution" since the first weblogs emerged on the internet. We do, however, urge people to considerate how they share personal and semi-personal information, and to use good common sense.

Share openly, but responsibly.

About 23

About 23
What is 23 and who's behind the service?
Just In
Discover the world from a different angle.
Here's a crop of the latest photos from the around the world.
Search photos from users using 23
Help / Discussion
Get help or share your ideas to make 23 better
23 Blog / 23 on Twitter
Messages and observations from Team 23
Terms of use
What can 23 be used for and what isn't allowed
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