SmugMug, the premium photo sharing service aimed at professionals, has acquired Flickr, the former photo-sharing king. SmugMug has acquired Flickr from Oath, the Verizon-owned subsidiary forged from the ashes of former internet giants, Yahoo and AOL.
Breathing New Life Into Flickr
Today, there are a multitude of different photo-sharing services, sites, and apps available to use. However, Flickr was one of the original innovators in this field, and it built quite a following amongst photographers, both pro and amateur, as a result.
Unfortunately for those enthusiastic users, Yahoo acquired Flickr in 2005. And Yahoo quickly stopped lavishing any sort of attention on Flickr, leaving it to rot in the face of increased competition. So, can SmugMug breathe new life into Flickr?
The Day SmugMug Acquired Flickr
According to USA Today, SmugMug acquired Flickr for an undisclosed sum of money. SmugMug has been around since 2002, but unlike Flickr, operates on a subscription-only basis. While there is Flickr Pro, the majority of Flickr users have free accounts.
As you can see in the video embedded above, SmugMug is pushing the idea that this is a coming together of two photo-sharing giants. And it looks like, for the time being at least, Flickr will be allowed to continue to operate independent of SmugMug.
However, over time Flickr will be migrated to SmugMug’s technology, and existing Flickr users will have to accept SmugMug’s terms of service. So, change is on the way, but it will take time to come to fruition. Don MacAskill, the CEO of SmugMug, said:
“I don’t know what the future holds. This is a new model for me. We are going to have to take a detailed look at the business and make sure it’s growing and healthy. We try to listen to our customers and when enough of them ask for something that’s important to them or to the community, we go and build it.”
Fingers Crossed for Flickr
As a longtime Flickr user myself, this is an interesting development. Yahoo did nothing of note with Flickr, but here’s hoping SmugMug will do better. In the meantime it might be a good idea to download your Flickr photos just in case the deal goes pear-shaped.