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Whithr Flickr

December 2, 2018

Last Holidailies, I wrote about how I was still using Flickr. That’s true today, too, but I’m wavering. When I uploaded photos there yesterday, it was with a doubt in my mind about whether I’d have to redo that work somewhere else. Flickr has a new owner now, Yahoo having sold it to SmugMug (a photo service I’ve never even poked at before). About a month ago, the new owners announced changes to Flickr accounts, namely the price of Pro doubling and free accounts being limited to 1000 photos. I’m not happy with either of those things, and that combined with fewer of my Flickr friends being active on the site and some harassment I’ve experienced there has me questioning if my time at Flickr is coming to an end.

I understand Flickr is a business and businesses have to make money, so I get that raising the price for a Pro subscription might have been necessary. However, I’m annoyed that people who aren’t Pro now are getting 30% off the new price if they sign up while those of us who are already Pro aren’t. I followed a workaround someone suggested in one of the help threads to try and get the discounted price applied to my renewal, but that doesn’t happen until April of next year so I won’t know if it worked for several months. Also in those help threads, the new owner said there was an “Easter egg” in the settings screen of existing Pro users to reward us for our loyalty, but I went to my settings and saw nothing new and appealing to me, so either the egg wasn’t to my taste or it was annoyingly hidden. The new annual fee for Pro is around $50 when paid in one installment, up from the $25 I’ve paid the past several years. It’s not a huge expense, and I can fit it in my budget if cut back elsewhere in my hobby spending, but I don’t know that I want to. Yet a free account won’t work for me, as not only will free users be unable to upload more photos after they reach the 1000 limit, older photos over that count will be deleted. Not just made unviewable, but deleted. I’ve been on Flickr since 2005. I’ve got almost 12000 photos there. Many are linked elsewhere, like this journal and my stash and project pages at Ravelry. If they get deleted, those links go dead. My daily photo diaries on Flickr for the past several years, my main project there, will make no sense without the images. It feels like the new owners are extorting me to stay Pro: “Nice photostream there, it’d be a shame if anything happened to it.”

If I were more active in public groups at Flickr or cared about things like being featured on Explore, I’d be more inclined to stay. But in recent times, I’ve just been doing my daily photo diary project group and keeping my photos locked down to being viewable by friends only, as thanks to a creepy harasser, I don’t feel comfortable posting publicly. I’ve blocked the harasser, who was leaving gross comments on my photos and then aggressive ones when I failed to respond to him, but a block on Flickr doesn’t keep that user from tagging you, so this person moved on to finding photos friends had tagged me in and leaving insults there, tagging me so I’d be sure to see them in my recent activity. I reported that, and the person’s public photos, which entirely consist of literal shit tagged as food, but Flickr has done nothing, not even respond to me that they won’t be doing anything (which at least Facebook does when I report stuff there).

My daily photo group is down to about a half dozen active members, so that’s not as strong a motivation to stay as it was in the years when there were more of us. Some of those who aren’t active anymore have reported that they find it hard to post and update from mobile devices, so they’re using Instagram now, which doesn’t lend itself to the style of discussions I’ve enjoyed in the daily group over the years. I’ve signed up for the 2019 group but don’t have high hopes for it or my participation there.

So I’m leaning toward leaving Flickr, but moving all that content somewhere else and updating all the links I can find makes me tired just thinking about it, especially since I don’t know where I’ll move it to. I have hosting space, but the photo gallery software I used when I first started this journal is long since defunct, so I’ll need to find another solution. I don’t think I need something with the social component of Flickr, as that’s not what I use it for now for the most part. I’ve been poking around online for WordPress plugins and such but even that research has made me weary. I’ve got some time to figure it out, but in the meantime, every photo I upload to Flickr feels like a poor use of my time. Maybe between now and when I figure out what I want to do, Flickr will be sold again or change their business model, or I’ll have changed my mind about things, and I’ll be able to stay after all, though I’m less hopeful of that now that I’ve been any other time there have been turmoil and changes at Flickr.


On this date in 2017: I Kinda Remember Having Goals
2016: Pre-Trip Trip
2015: Octoberfest
2014: Music, Family, and a Furry Kitten
2013: Thanksgiving Recap
2012: Me, My Stuff, and I
2007 to 2011: No entries
2006: Surprise
2004 & 2005: No entries
2003: Boomer? Moi?
2002: Goal Check-In #5

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  1. Mary Says:

    Hmm. I got that email too, but haven’t thought too much about it. I’m glad you have – you’ve made me reconsider staying there.

  2. mo pie Says:

    One of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to get the hell off Flickr. I loved them, and then their redesign rendered the site basically useless to me (getting rid of the thumbnails and auto-tagging, and screwing with the order of my photos, all were terrible). But I stuck around because of the photo storage. The fact that they’re holding my photos hostage is so distasteful to me. The incredibly low 1000-photo limit feels like a fuck you to its users. So I’m going to find an alternative sometime in 2019. If you find one, let me know! I’ll do the same.

  3. Melissa Sawyer Says:

    Thanks for writing about this. I have a whole bunch of photos on flickr that I have just left there that I obviously need to move now.

  4. KarenD Says:

    Mary, I didn’t think much about it until I went into the Flickr help forum looking for information about blocking people and saw the many many pages of discussion about the changes. Sad to think I may have to move on, but it happens.

  5. KarenD Says:

    Melissa, yeah, they’ve said they’re going to start deletes in February, going after older photos first. I’m still hoping they’ll modify that stance but guessing they won’t.

  6. KarenD Says:

    Mo, indeed that redesign was no good, and the way they’re treating old timers on the site makes me think they do not want us as users. Right now I’m leaning toward self-hosting but I will certainly let you know if I decide on something else.

  7. MissMeliss Says:

    Oh, thank you for posting this. I’m having the same dilemma. I mostly use instagram and my own hard drive for saving photos – Flickr was great when my digital camera was not built into my phone, you know? And I keep forgetting to save my stuff and cancel the account.

    It’ll be one of my NY resolutions, too, to delete Flickr from my life.

  8. Jodie G Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Flickr. I guess I’ll be moving my photos. Heaven knows where though. When we upgraded our computer my husband moved over my 20k photos.
    Sigh 2019 will be all about photo transfer.

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