Thanks for being candid, Flickr.

Now I am faced with a dilemma.

Flickr sent all of its users a note dated November 1st:

Beginning January 8, 2019, Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. If you need unlimited storage, you’ll need to upgrade to Flickr Pro.

After SmugMug acquired Flickr from Yahoo, this is what the new owners will give to us. As they announced the changes, they stated:

In 2013, Yahoo lost sight of what makes Flickr truly special and responded to a changing landscape in online photo sharing by giving every Flickr user a staggering terabyte of free storage. This, and numerous related changes to the Flickr product during that time, had strongly negative consequences.

First, and most crucially, the free terabyte largely attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with other lovers of photography. This caused a significant tonal shift in our platform, away from the community interaction and exploration of shared interests that makes Flickr the best shared home for photographers in the world. We know those of you who value a vibrant community didn’t like this shift, and with this change we’re re-committing Flickr to focus on fostering this interaction.

From this time you should know that I’m hit by this change.

I checked the pricing for Flickr Pro, and felt that it was not worth it to stay. Good. Now I have a problem.


At first, of course I don’t accept what the new overlords believe in, but in the long run, we have to accept the fact that unless we have a terabyte worth of storage at hand, we’re forced to pay for online storage.

Having around 17,000 photos uploaded on Flickr, of course I have to make a decision.

Google Photos can be great, but if I think about it, I don’t have that many high-res photos, and by my estimates, I have too many low-res photos that might eat up my whole Google Drive storage because only high-res photos gets the free storage treatment.

Dropbox is also great — good on them to offer 2GB on the free tier — but then again I have to pay US$8.25 monthly, which is still quite costly for me too. Yes I am a cheapskate.

I didn’t picked both of these services and instead went to a much cheaper option. Good thing I got somehow used to it.

I have hard feelings to Flickr at first, but what I understood is that it wants to improve the service’s quality — and make it a portfolio for the best photos a person can take.

Until then, I’ll look forward to getting all of my things out of Flickr before it gets renamed SmugMug (don’t get me wrong, this is still a possibility).


I’ll add this story from Fast Company for further reading. It’s an interview of SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill, and he did address the concerns about these changes well — very important for those who monitor the Internet Archive and Creative Commons: Flickr’s New Free Offering Is Better than Amazing: It’s Sustainable

Tags: