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This is what Flickr's FAQs have to say about collections:

How is a collection different than a set?

A set contains photos. A collection can contain sets (or other collections).

Isn't this just sets of sets?

Yes, but no. It's better.

Can anyone clarify for me why it's better? I'm sure everyone uses them differently; I'm just having a hard time figuring out why you'd need them, and the FAQ is not exactly helpful.

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Flickr seems to use the word "album" instead of "set" nowadays, although it's very confusing. – Flimm Dec 8 '15 at 12:28
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If going deeper and wider is better, then that's why it's better. That's really all there is to it.

A collection can contain sets and other collections, going down as five (5) deep. That is you can have the following nests/groups:

Animals collection

  • Four-legged set
  • Domestic pets set
  • Winged creatures collection

Winged creatures collection

  • Pegasus set
  • Birds of prey set

Edible collection

  • Animals collection
  • Winged creatures collection

Think of them like Gmail labels. An email can have multiple labels as can Flickr sets/collections be in more than one collection.

It's a superset of another way to organise your Flickr photos.

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Unicorns don't have wings; you're possibly thinking of Pagasuses (pagasim?). Which, however, are notoriously camera-shy, and lack horns. – Michael Paulukonis Mar 14 '14 at 20:15
Correct, was thinking of the Pegasus type beast – Eight Days of Malaise Mar 14 '14 at 20:35

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