In April 2018, SmugMug acquired Flickr from Oath for an undisclosed sum of money. Now, six months on, SmugMug is making changes to Flickr in order to make a return on its investment. Which is good news for Pro users, and bad news for free users. Naturally.
Flickr Puts a Price on Ambition
The new owners of Flickr describe the photo-sharing site as “a place to connect, to discover, and to evolve as photographers and lovers of photography.” And claim that “this newly-independent community can shape the future of photography itself.”
Unfortunately, such heady ambitions come at a price. That price being the $5.99/month or $49.99/year it costs to use Flickr Pro. Because while Flickr Pro members are getting new features to use, free members are being shunted to the sidelines.
Flickr Makes Changes to Pro and Free
Flickr Pro members will now enjoy unlimited storage at full resolution, ad-free browsing, advanced statistics, premier customer support, and partner discounts. Furthermore, increased exposure, a 5K resolution option, and 10 minute videos are arriving in 2019.
In contrast, free users will now be limited to storing just 1,000 photos. Which is a huge drop from the 1TB previously offered. This will apply from day one for all new users signing up for an account, but is also being applied to existing users.
If you’re a free user who already has over 1,000 photos stored on Flickr you have until January 8, 2019 to delete some content. And on February 5, 2019, Flickr will actively start deleting your photos (starting with the oldest) until you fall in line.
There Are Alternatives to Flickr…
For the new owners of Flickr, shifting focus (and resources) to Pro users makes sense. That is, after all, where the money is, and they want people to pay to use the service. However, Flickr is making it clear that free users are second class citizens, and that sucks.
If you need to remove content from Flickr in order to get under the new limit, here’s how to download your Flickr photos at their original resolutions. And if this makes you want to ditch Flickr altogether there’s always Amazon Photos or Google Photos.