flickrgalleryYahoo’s photo-sharing social network, Flickr, has added a popularly-requested feature: Members can create one-page collections of up to 18 photos culled from Flickr’s enormous trove of publicly-shared photos. You can see sample Galleries here.

How is a gallery different from Flickr’s favorites feature? “Think of a gallery like favorites on steroids,” Flickr’s online help says. As a former documentation writer, I can confirm this tells us nothing.

Galleries differ from Flickr in the same way museum exhibits differ from Flickr: They’re meant to be fixed collections. A Favorites list gets updated every time the user clicks a new favorite. A Gallery is meant to be a more permanent set, put aside from Flickr’s 24/7 barrage of new content. I totally believe the Flickr blog’s claim that this has been a long-outstanding request from members wanting to “celebrate the creativity of their fellow members.” A good eye for photos is a skill that hasn’t be automated … yet.