I have been a Flickr user since 2006. At the time, I have been looking for a place to store my digital photos. I’ve tried using external hard drives but (at the time) capacities were small — least the ones I could afford. Flickr offered free storage for up to 200 full-resolution photos. If I go beyond 200 I would only see the latest 200 photos and the rest are just hidden. This was what I remember. It has been twelve years. At one point, Yahoo! decided to open up and lift the 200-image limit and they gave one terabyte of storage space per user. This was too good to be true, I told myself. But I am not complaining.
I am not a professional photographer. I even consider myself half an enthusiast even though I have over 26 thousand photos in Flickr. I love taking photos of places I’ve been to, of friends and loved ones and each time I take a camera out I tried to improve on something even just a little. So my Flickr account contained mostly personal stuff. Memories. The added storage allowed me to see improvements I have made (if any) through time comparing photos from a year or two before to the ones I take today. It became more valuable to me since my wife passed away in the second half of 2014. I gathered all the photos and videos I had of her and uploaded them to Flickr. This was the point I started to use some more of Flickr’s features — grouping photos into Albums, once in a while I’d use tags for easier searching, looking at EXIF data. Flickr offered a lot more for the professional photographer but all I needed was a place to store the memories I’ve taken. It was like a box of photos taken over time. It was a large plus that I can organize things by using albums.
But I did say it was too good to be true. And be it good or bad, nothing lasts.
Yahoo! got sold to Verizon and Flickr got snapped up by SmugMug. Things are changing. I got mails about what’s going to happen and for the most part it was good. Someone who knows photography is going to take care of a neglected Flickr. Finally.
Change is inevitable and, for the most part, change is good. There will be some collateral damage but hopefully it will be at a minimum.
So okay let’s be candid then. SmugMug is a business. It’s acquisition of Flickr is a business decision first and foremost as it offers a promising growth path for both companies. And I say, “Good for them.”
So what do I, as a user, do now? To be honest, I’m on the fence on this one. The Pro offer is good but not in the budget as I am not even a professional. If stay with the free Flickr I get free storage for thousand photos and videos and the rest gets deleted. Deleted. That royally ticked me off.
I was thinking, “They’re going to delete my memories.” That’s over 25,000 mostly family photos and a handful of videos gone. And they make it sound like it’s not a big thing to them. Wouldn’t you be pissed?
Fine. I can just download everything and go. But I can also take the Pro offer with the 30% off and I can sit on the fence a bit longer. So I go and visit the site and and I found out it’s not 30% off as stated in the email.
It became 15%. No explanations. This is something getting close to shady, guys. It just makes me think you cannot keep your word.
Fine. Maybe I can still swing it. But if you guys decided on something like this, don’t change it. It just makes you look like you’re unsure of what you’re offering.
So with pouted face, I am still on the fence. Maybe I’ll get the Pro for one year so I can prep everything I need to prep. And then go.