There is no free lunch.
NOTE: I don’t depend on income from this site to support myself, so I didn’t use a Click-Baity headline like “Should we save Flickr? – Who cares?” I probably would get more views if I did that, but it’s not my style. I’ll just lay it out there. I think Flickr’s worth saving and I think it IS on those of us in the photography community who rely on Flickr to do the work.
Flickr has been around since 2004. Yahoo bought the company from its husband and wife founders a year later, and pretty much ran it into the ground. Verizon bought Yahoo and things got worse. Then, SmugMug bought Flickr. I know the people behind SmugMug and they are all hard-working, dedicated, sincere, people. SmugMug bought Flickr to save it but most likely underestimated the cost of hosting tens of BILLIONS photographs in very high-resolution.
A month ago, the owners issued a letter that was transparent, honest and frank. They asked the photography community to help keep Flickr alive. (See the letter from Don and read for yourself.) Flickr needs to do more of this and I wish EVERY business were this open about their situation.
Some people didn’t like that letter and bailed. Some people understood the value and doubled down to stay. I am one of those who understood the value and have continued my Pro subscription – originally signed up for in 2009.
This week, Flickr announced that they were raising the price of Flickr Pro. They gave a chance to existing Pro members to extend their subscription by a year at the old price and I immediately extended my subscription. Why?
1. I love Flickr’s high-res image display. IMO – There is no other safe place on the Internet to put your images where they will be displayed in high-resolution. (This would be reason enough to stay on Flickr for me.)
2. The people behind Flickr have good intentions and have earned the trust of many photographers based on how they run SmugMug.
3. On Facebook, Instagram, etc., YOU are the product and despite having a “free” place to share your images, you are giving up just about every detail of your private life to the people hosting those images.
4. On another popular sharing service, they started selling my images as stock – without my permission. I trust that something like this would never happen at Flickr.
5. For less than $5 a month, the cost of one Caffe Latte Venti plus tax and tip Starbucks, I have a beautiful place to host, store and share my images.
There are many benefits to Flickr Pro. If you use all of them, the service nets out to no cost…
Unlimited Storage at full resolution!!!
Annual Pro members get two complimentary months ($20 value) of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan
20% off the Prime Lightroom preset bundle
1 $35 Blurb photo book coupon per year (minimum $70 order)
A Unique Pixsy plan for Flickr Pro customers: 1,000 monitored images, standard scanning priority, unlimited case submission, 10 takedown notices
Stats on your photo views
Desktop Uploadr for automatically backing-up images
Ability to use specific commercial activity to promote your business and products
SPECIAL PERKS FOR PRO USERS
Premier Product Support
More Partner Discounts
Advanced Stats on Mobile
New 6K Photo Display Option
10-Minute Videos increased from 3
I am not sponsored by Flickr. I am not an affiliate. I have no official connection to the company other than as a customer. So I am not barred from sharing my opinions, good and not so good. Are there things that Flickr needs to improve? Absolutely. I am not saying it is perfect. It could be faster for one thing. And I am not sure that they always handle the price increases in the best manner.
The most recent increase was just notice of the increase. I would have liked it better if Don shared another letter explaining what we can expect to get for that new, higher price. *UPDATE – See Don’s comment below.
If we get nothing more than Flickr survives another year, I am okay with that. But communication is key. I think Flickr is generally good at that, but they can still improve.
We live in an age where unfortunately, people like to pile on when someone is down. I don’t understand it – at all. Back in the day (I know I am not supposed to say that but heck – it’s my blog so I’ll say it) when we saw someone down, we offered a hand up. In a world where I think we all do better by rooting for each other, I am here to root for Flickr. I would absolutely miss it if it were gone. For a few bucks a month, I am willing to bet on the Flickr experiment turning out positively for SmugMug, for me and for the entire photography community. If you’re with me, use the link below to sign up. IT IS NOT AN AFFILIATE LINK! Pick another link if you like, but do consider signing up. I personally think it’s the best way (short of showing people physical prints of your images) to share your photography.
You can sign up here – https://www.flickr.com/account/upgrade/pro and if you do, and you are a new member, you receive a $25 gift card to Peak Design, a free photo book from Chatbooks, and a free month of PHLEARN.
P.S. If you follow me on Flickr, I will follow you back.