There's a new photohosting site that just got out of public beta - Zooomr. The similarities between it and Flickr don't just stop at the name - the rest of the site seems to take all of Flickr's good UI points as well. However, it's obvious that the people responsible for Zooomr, BlueBridge Technologies Group, fully intend to innovate.
One of the first thing you notice when you go to register at Zooomr is that you don't have to actually register. You can log in using federated ID authentication from numerous other services - Level9 R5, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google, and Meetro. I logged in with my Google account, and within seconds I was able to edit my Zooomr profile. After finding a test picture to upload, I was able to upload and start my Zooomr experience within minutes of signing in (the longest time was spent trying to find an actual photo to upload).
The basic interface is fairly clean, but that is due to it taking LOTS from the flickr interface. All the basic elements are in the same place as on flickr, and there's even a photostream, in this case called a "photo catalogue." Unlike flickr, I found the text elements on the right side of the photo a little distracting - they are too bold and pronounced, whereas on flickr they are more subtle.
Aside from this, Zooomr has all the basic web 2.0 features you would expect - tags, comments, social communities, RSS feeds, AJAX-y interface, etc. However, they're adding some pretty cool features like Zooomrtations and Geotagging. Zooomrtations are basically audio annotations embedded into each image. This could allow for some pretty interesting visual and audio storytelling. Geotagging, called Lightmap on Zooomr, is done via GoogleMaps at the moment, and holds a lot of promise. By extending it a little further, Zooomr could mesh together the functionality of Plazes and Flickr, and in turn create a hot new web 2.0 site.
Check it out for yourself, there's no need to even register!