Flickr has just announced new Groups features on its blog, including a Justified View, the ability to submit photos directly to Groups via the Uploadr and brand new API methods for developers. Yahoo has, of course, been floundering lately, and Flickr is really feeling the heat from competitors like 500px – all the more reason to push forward and provide some desired improvements for users.

The Justified View, which we’ve already seen on the Photos from Contacts and Favorites pages, looks pretty damn impressive compared to the previous design. With this change, Flickr has also added sidebar navigation, and described it thusly:

As you scroll through the photos in a Group Pool, the new sidebar persistently gives you context on what the group is about. It also surfaces the most recent discussions happening in the group and highlights the top tags as well as the top contributors for members who want to dig a little deeper.

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Flickr also now allows its users to submit photos directly to groups right from its Uploadr — a highly requested feature. To do so, simply click on “Add to Group” in the editing panel to access your existing groups. From there, your photos will be sent to the group immediately as they’re published on your photostream.

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Furthermore, the Flickr team has released several new API methods for developers that will allow them to “enable [Flickr] members to interact with group discussions such as reading topics and replies, and posting to group discussions.”

The release also includes methods to join and leave a group (that may be of special interest to you mobile developers out there). You can find more information regarding these new methods on our API documentation page. Or you can head over to the code.flickr blog to read Jamal’s post on the new API methods.

If you’re already eager to provide feedback on today’s updates, Flickr has created a new thread for bugs and feedback for justified group pools and the new sidebar. Also, head over to this existing thread if you encounter issues with the new Add to Groups option in Uploadr.

What do you think of the new digs? Is Flickr moving too slowly?