Goyaka helps Flickr photo fans flock to Facebook

Anyone who has tried to move their Flickr (s YHOO) photograph trove over to Facebook finds it’s not easy. Automating that process to make it drop-dead simple is what Goyaka Labs, based in Bangalore, India, is trying to do with its fledgling UnifyPhotos service.
Goyaka Co-Founder Rajagopal Natarajan said the startup was motivated because he and his two co-founders wanted to move their own Flickr photos over to Facebook so they could be more easily shared and commented on.
To use the free service, you sign on to Flickr, sign on to Facebook and push a button. The service automatically moves your photos onto your Facebook page  — and your timeline — but the photos are initially marked private so you can check them out before sharing them with friends and family. That’s, after all, why most people want their photos on Facebook, said Natarajan.
Other services like Photosync don’t put photos in the Facebook timeline. Selecting photos to sync and selecting the privacy level is “not intuitive” with those products. “They sync all sets by default and post them to the default list of friends,” Natarajan said.  Other tools also don’t let the user track progress of the synchronization while it’s happening, he said.
“The timeline piece is important. I have so many photos from 2005, and without timeline [integration], they’d all show up [categorized] for the same time,” Natarajan said.
Goyaka’s Ruby on Rails-based service is hosted on Amazon Web Services (s AMZN) and uses Flickr and Facebook APIs to do its thing.
A Picasa (s GOOG) version is in the works, but Flickr, which has been the preeminent photo-sharing site, was the low-hanging fruit.  The site targets Facebook because “Zuckerberg owns me already. Facebook photos are more social. Tagging just nails it,” according to the website.
Goyaka launched a test service over the weekend and as of Thursday, had already uploaded some 270,000 photos and was adding more AWS instances to handle the queue, Natarajan said.
“We want our friends to see our photos. So many people started commenting and many old photos are bubbling up [on Facebook] now,” Natarajan said.
I tried Goyaka just now with a limited number of Flickr photos. The process was simple, but the queue must be long because they haven’t populated Facebook yet. Still, they’ve sat in Flickr for months; what’s a few more minutes? Stay tuned for an update.
UPDATE: My photos are still not up. In response to an email, Natarajan apologized for the backlog delay, attributing it to a component failure.

 The advent of services like UnifyPhotos show how pervasive Facebook has become as the social networking site of choice for many consumers — and its impact on other free services like Flickr and Picasa.