As individual participants in user-generated content sites we want to measure the attention we get. You know it's true. How are people interacting with our content? And how do they find us in the first place? Flickr Stats has the answers.
Viewing, commenting, favoriting - such activities can be used to gauge the relative popularity of photos. It has been possible to get this information all along, but now it's in a central location and available as time series data (in a very Google Analytics-looking interface).
In addition to content interaction data, Flickr Stats exposes, for the first time, referring URLs and keywords that bring people to photos. This is where I think the real benefit will be seen.
Keyword reports give content owners new insight into the relationship between tags and image searchability, in turn encouraging photo SEO. If someone wants their images to be found they will spend more time creating meaningful tags, and better tagging means better metadata for everyone.
So thanks, Flickr, this is great! Just one more reason for me to justify that $25/year pro account. I hope other user-generated content sites follow suit and expose measurement, too. There's plenty of room for meaningful metrics wherever individuals are sharing content.
[Update: In March 2010 I blogged about the current state of photo sharing analytics, including Flickr Stats. Read the latest.]