The big picture: Flickr argues that Yahoo's decision to give free members a terabyte of storage was a mistake. It attracted members that were drawn by the free storage, not their love of photography, prioritized advertisers' interests over those of its members and signaled that storage isn't worth paying for. Flickr's new owners believe subscriptions are the way to go.
SmugMug co-founder and CEO Don MacAskill is taking newly acquired Flickr in a different direction. “The days of lurching from strategy to strategy at Flickr, chasing hot social media trends, are over,” he said in a recent blog post, adding that “photography and photographers” are the company’s new strategy.
Great, but what does that mean for Flickr users?
The top requested feature from customers was an improved login system, one that didn’t require a Yahoo e-mail address. MacAskill said they hope to finalize testing on it in December and move everyone over to the new system in January.
The SmugMug team is also working to purge spammy comments and followers from Flickr. It’s an ongoing process but they’ve already “put a serious dent” in all forms of spam.
The biggest change, however, involves free accounts. Beginning January 8, 2019, free tier members will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. Since Yahoo’s redesign in 2013, free members have had one terabyte of storage to work with – enough to hold more than 500,000 6.5-megapixel photos.
According to Andrew Stadlen, VP of Product at Flickr, the overwhelming majority of Pro accounts have more than 1,000 photos on Flickr and most Free members have fewer than 1,000. As such, the team felt that the 1,000 mark was a “fair and generous place to draw the line.”
Those needing unlimited storage will need to upgrade to a Flickr Pro account. Pricing starts at $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Flickr was founded in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo a year later for between $22 million and $25 million. Verizon, as you may recall, closed its purchase of Yahoo last year and this past April, SmugMug bought Flickr from Verizon’s digital media subsidiary Oath.
Lead image via Shawn Knight. Second image courtesy Raymond Cunningham, Flickr