Many of the methods available in the Flickr API require an argument called “user_id,” for which you provide the user’s NSID. Flickr doesn’t seem to spell it out, but NSID typically means network services identification. Flickr users will often refer to it as the “at” number, since they all contain the @ symbol, like 77945684@N00.

When a user creates their Flickr account, the NSID (assigned by Flickr) appears in the web addresses for the photos and profile. But once a user picks a custom alias for their web addresses, it can be hard to find their NSID. An easy trick to finding it is by clicking on any user’s icon (including your own). There are also mini applications on the web that make it easy, such as Fusr and idGettr.

I created my own app, Flickr Findr, allowing you to discover the NSID given a user’s name, email, or alias. It works by sending the input to up to three Flickr API methods, stopping when an NSID is found. The first method is flickr.people.findByUsername, followed by flickr.people.findByEmail and then flickr.urls.lookupUser.

Finding a Flickr User’s ID

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