Facebook and Flickr photo integration dropped from Windows 8.1


The Windows 8 photos app, seen above, has features the Windows 8.1 app doesn't have

Microsoft has killed the integration of Facebook and Flickr photos into the Photos app in Windows 8.1, claiming that apps available in the Windows Store are now good enough that the functionality is no longer needed. The functionality still remains in the Windows Phone Photos app, as the platform has been touted as having tight integration, but that may also change in the future.

Speaking on the Microsoft community forums, a spokesperson for Microsoft said:

In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook.  We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos on Facebook.  We welcome Flickr to do the same.  In addition, the People app still offers the ability to socially engage with your friends and even your own photos.

At the moment neither an official Facebook app nor Flickr app are available from the Windows Store, although the former will be coming soon after Microsoft announced the app at BUILD 2013. It's interesting that Microsoft has decided to remove a feature from the Photos app that some people clearly found useful: many comments on the Microsoft community forums are annoyed at the removal, with one user calling it a "massive step backward".

Windows 8.1 is currently only a Preview version, so Microsoft may have a change of heart and reintroduce these features at sometime in the future, but for now it looks like you'll have to use the (currently unavailable) apps to get your Facebook and Flickr photos.

Source: Microsoft Community via: The Verge

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Stupid move. I'd always go to the Photos tile and see all my photos - wherever they may be. It was convenient. Now it's gone? Who's making these decisions? Fire them, please.

And if Microsoft wants to take this "use the official app instead" move, they need to make sure there's a decent official app in the first place and be consistent. For instance, there's the People app that - in theory - aggregates social networks from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.. Will Microsoft now ditch this social network integration and say "use the official apps instead" ... or will they speak out of both sides of their mouth?

Very dumb. The original concept of having "hubs" was a great idea and it's very useful to tie in multiple apps/networks in one place for simple accessing of stuff.

I'm not expecting the Photo app to replace my need of visiting the FB app, but it would be nice to see pictures from all my networks on one app rather than having to go to each individual app/website to do the same. I could see friends tagged in photos from various services all in one interface, search tags across all my networks, etc. If I wanted to just see FB pics, I'd see the FB app. Now if I want to be able to comb through all my networks pictures, I will no longer have a simple all-in-one app to do so.

NOOOOO! This is a huge mistake. I don't want endless tiles of photo apps across my screen. The Entire purpose of Photo HUB was to have a central location of ALL your photo accounts. If you proceeed with this then just remove the #### photo hub entirely. #Pointless

Perhaps they did this just in case anyone complained to the EU that their stupid app wasn't needed. Can't blame MS for playing it safe

For all of you complaining about the feature being there in the first place in the Windows 8 version, you DO know you can turn off certain services, right? For example, I turned off the Flickr integration, since I don't use it. Go to settings and uncheck the ones that you don't want to display. It's as simple as that.

I thought it was a nice feature to have the integration of the various services/PCs in one location. Hoping that they reconsider before RTM.

they removed SkyDrive from Photos, but you can't even play slideshows in the SkyDrive app. flickr and facebook could make sense if those apps actually come to the store with decent features, but removing SkyDrive makes absolutely no sense.

here's a puzzling contradiction, they've integrated a File Explorer into the SkyDrive app, but in Photos, they're removing SkyDrive and forcing you to use local storage? lol.

I guess we should just get used to Microsoft making mind-boggling decisions.

I'm wondering if this all comes from Facebook, no live chat in the people hub anymore with facebook that I use all the time to chat with friends of facebook, and now they are removing the intergration of the photos from facebook from the picture app. sounds like facebook told Microsoft, if you want a facbook app then let us do chat and pictures from our own site...
I can't see any other reason why they would do this ..

very disappointed but on the other had I'm very happy with windows 8.1 really like it
Mark

Gibbyhome said,
I'm wondering if this all comes from Facebook, no live chat in the people hub anymore with facebook that I use all the time to chat with friends of facebook, and now they are removing the intergration of the photos from facebook from the picture app. sounds like facebook told Microsoft, if you want a facbook app then let us do chat and pictures from our own site...
I can't see any other reason why they would do this ..

very disappointed but on the other had I'm very happy with windows 8.1 really like it
Mark

That actually makes a lot of sense... It's like they're removing all the built in Facebook features to make room for a dedicated Facebook app.

It's upsetting though. I want to be able to include Facebook chat within the Skype app just like on Skype for Desktop and Skype on Mac.

Hopefully the Facebook app adds its photo gallery into the file picker within Windows 8.

It's obviously because of how the file picker works... you choose the app/source. If you integrate Facebook/Flickr/Picasa/SkyDrive into Pictures, when you select Pictures you would be flooded with options for external sources... but if you wanted those external options you would have chosen them to begin with.

And it has to do with simplifying and removing clicks from the Pictures app. It buried your pictures too deep having to choose between services.

Bad decision. Microsoft has to provide support because 3rd parties are slow to respond.

An integrated Flickr, Facebook, Picasa photos app makes sense. Heck, integrating with their own skydrive service would be nice as well.

Still missing that messaging app

So... Windows Phone and Windows' similarities really are only skin deep? One of the coolest features of WinPhone is the integrated hubs, why drop this from W8?!

JustAnotherTechie said,
So... Windows Phone and Windows' similarities really are only skin deep?

The differences are only skin deep...

Agreed. With iOS 7 coming, if Microsoft begins dropping integration features from Windows Phone as well, Windows Phone and iOS may just meet in the middle.

Aggregating information from many sources into one or two apps and tiles was one of the main things that sold me on Windows Phone and Windows 8. If I wanted to jump around between apps, I would have gone with an iPhone.

I thought one of the main attractions that Microsoft has been pushing with Windows Phone/Windows 8 is that you have one or 2 tiles that integrate everything with out the need of apps. Windows Phone has this with the people and pictures hubs, why not do the same on Windows 8

wv@gt said,
I thought one of the main attractions that Microsoft has been pushing with Windows Phone/Windows 8 is that you have one or 2 tiles that integrate everything with out the need of apps. Windows Phone has this with the people and pictures hubs, why not do the same on Windows 8

That's for WP (the hubs), its not really been touted as a major thing in W8. We have built in people which pools your contacts from your accounts and shows quick updates from social networks you have added (but this is never meant to replace a full app - hell on WP I still use the app but the highlights on a contact are handy), mail and calendar use the same accounts but that's about it

WTF Microsoft, I use the facebook album integration in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 all the damn time. It works much better than the facebook app on my phone or whatever flavour of photo viewer their website is running this week.

no one has mentioned the WP integration going anywhere, just windows 8 photo app. It makes more sense on a phone anyway I think along with windows 8 apps having better sharing api's than the phone has (between apps and built in elements).

e.g. when browsing for a picture, a new FB app should expose itself to the file picker (just like the pictures app does now), so you'd simply choose FB 1 step ahead of where you pick it now.

For browsing your FB pics, even when using the pictures app you have to make a selection early on (local or skydrive or FB), so in this instance the selection is just 1 step ahead (open the FB app rather than the pictures app).

TCLN Ryster said,

So to summarise... You don't use it, and you're happy its gone so nobody else can use it either?

No, my opinion. I dont like it so not sad to see it go. Companes cannot please everyone

Typical Microsoft, instead of unifying the experience across their mobile platforms they intentionally make it inconsistent. This is why they ultimately always fail in the consumer space.

Haha such hissy fits, 8.1 is in preview and dedicated apps replace functionality (they will also plug into system api's i assume). Nothing is concrete but yet the reactions are on the level of ms walking in your house on Christmas day and ****ting on your tree. Calm yourselves folks.

This is plain stupid. I'm very curious as to who signed off on this decision. It must be someone who's disgruntled.

Dumb, just dumb. That was easily one of the things I use most on both the phone and the tablet. The Windows phone team must be losing their minds lately, so many of their great ideas just get flushed down the toilet by the Windows team. I love Win 8.1 but that is just dumb.

If they remove that from the phone, I will throw a fit. I used to use the photos app every single day, now I don't touch it. I'd settle for a SkyDrive folder in there though. When I saw it missing I just assumed it was temporary, as I assumed the missing ability to search contacts from universal search was also temporary.

Microsoft, so brilliant one minute, and so stupid the next.

Like everyone else I'm surprised by this, why remove something people use. It was one of the better things about Windows 8, nice tight integration of your services. If anything I thought it should be expanded, the pictures library should expose an API for services to plug into so you could view your photos from any service within the app, be it Facebook, Flickr or any new service, Bing, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever.

Same thing was supposed to happen with Windows Phone. When 7.0 was coming out, we were promised a future of APIs where services like Flickr and Facebook would plug into the Hubs and provide their services through the Hubs. Instead, they provided a bare-bones API to display your app in a respective Hub. Then, after 7.5 they stopped updating the integrated social features of the OS altogether. Including leaving a deprecated Facebook check-in feature that has long since been replaced in other OSes and the website. The way I see it now is that they are beginning to full-on backpedal toward an iOS-like future.

I cant see the point in this, been able to view photos from many services from one location can only be a good thing right?

I never use the app personally, however given a lot of Modern apps are lacking removing a good feature looks like a silly move.

Since when does Microsoft let features or functionality drop just because 3rd parties can do it?
Don't use the photo app at all but I just don't like this idea.

Well that sucks. I use that feature often to choose photos from facebook for my picture password, lock screen picture, or whatever. I guess I'll need another app now to add facebook pictures back to the file picker.

Mickez said,
Well, if the coming facebook app is any good you can choose photos directly from it INSIDE the file-picker.

Maybe that means there is a flickr app coming? I don't think there is right yet right?