Old 11-03-2018, 03:06 AM   #1
KevinM
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Default Flickr about to limit free accounts to 1000 photos

On November 1, 2018, Flickr announced that starting early next year (2019), they will be limiting free users to just 1,000 photos. That's 1000 images, not some specific storage limit. For those of us who use Flickr to post albums of low-res images to share with friends, it means that if you have more than 1,000 images and you've put lots of time into building albums and creating captions, the site will begin to delete content early next year. For those of us in that category, its essentially an effort to extort money from the user or risk losing the work you've put into the site. The fee for a pro account is only $50/year, but the pro package offers nothing useful, other than unlimited storage, which some of us don't want or need. The site has no options to sell prints, so why would anyone pay for Flickr? For not a heck of a lot more, you could have a REAL portfolio site with services that are worth paying for.

I was about to work on some additional albums in my account this weekend. Glad I read the notice. I'm not putting any more effort into that site.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:08 AM   #2
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On November 1, 2018, Flickr announced that starting early next year (2019), they will be limiting free users to just 1,000 photos. That's 1000 images, not some specific storage limit. For those of us who use Flickr to post albums of low-res images to share with friends, it means that if you have more than 1,000 images and you've put lots of time into building albums and creating captions, the site will begin to delete content early next year. For those of us in that category, its essentially an effort to extort money from the user or risk losing the work you've put into the site. The fee for a pro account is only $50/year, but the pro package offers nothing useful, other than unlimited storage, which some of us don't want or need. The site has no options to sell prints, so why would anyone pay for Flickr? For not a heck of a lot more, you could have a REAL portfolio site with services that are worth paying for.

I was about to work on some additional albums in my account this weekend. Glad I read the notice. I'm not putting any more effort into that site.
Surely your 1,100,000 views on Flickr are worth something! (I expect to top the million mark there maybe next year).

Is any other photo site offering even that much space for $0.00?

Since several Flickr photographers I follow seem to be saying sayonara already, I guess I ought to see what they have there that's good (i.e. worth downloading and saving).
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:33 AM   #3
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Surely your 1,100,000 views on Flickr is worth something! (I expect to top the million mark there maybe next year).

Is any other photo site offering even that much space for $0.00?
It's not so much the views, but the work that went into uploading all of the photos, creating the albums and writing the caption. Since I have roughly 1,800 images there, they are going to delete almost half of it, if I don't cough up $50. It's almost the definition of extortion.

Now, SmugMug owns Flickr, and they do have the best package for a real portfolio site, which I've been wanting, BUT.....should I reward extortion with more business?

WRT the space, who cares about the space? I don't put anything but low-res images up there. I'm not using anything like 1TB. I think they would have been a lot more reasonable, had they elected to limit the amount of space, or grandfather existing users. That's where they crossed the line from a decision to change a business model to extortion.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:42 PM   #4
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It's been interesting watching the evolution of where the railfan crowd has chosen to post their images over the years... Trainorders, RP, Pbase, Flickr... I remember when seemingly everyone and their brother was posting here, then there was a mass exodus to Flickr, and now it appears something else will be on the horizon.

I used to post to RP and RRpicturearchives, which both are railroad-specific sites where you can search by locomotive type, location, etc. in a standardized format. Archives started acting really buggy during 2014 and 2015 (failed uploads, broken or misdirected thumbnails), so I dropped it and sort of hesitantly joined Flickr. After awhile, I became a big fan of Flickr's interface, and the freedom to post photos and make corrections without being screened. There's a huge railfan community over there that seems more vocal than the folks viewing RP these days. I got over the fact that it wasn't a railroad-oriented site and just decided to do the bet job I could tagging keywords on my own photos. I still upload to RP on an occasional basis, usually to reduce redundancy in my Flickr feed.

I'm pretty selective about what I upload to either site, and after nearly three years I only have about 250 photos on Flickr. So I guess I will stick around there for the time being (at this rate it will take a few years for me to hit a thousand) and see where everyone else makes the jump to. As time goes on, however, I feel that more and more websites will be charging for use/storage of any type, and we may look back fondly on the days we could download/upload files or read/post messages without paying first.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:41 AM   #5
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Flickr (or should that be SmugMug) really could have handled this in a less thuggish way, maybe grandfathering those over the new limit. A quick estimate puts several hundred thousand photos at risk of being arbitrarily deleted just from photographers I follow! The grand total of all photos at risk must be staggering.

The free terabyte seemed too good to be true, even back when it was announced. Still, things could have been worse. Think about the photo sites that Google has simply closed down (Panoramio, Picasa etc.).
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:27 AM   #6
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The VP who wrote the public explanation of the new policy professed that Flickr was designed for the purposes of providing photographers with a means to share photos, not provide a free hard drive to professionals. Fine. Then why not design a policy that truly supports the original concept and addresses the problem. Limit users to a reduced space allotment instead of an arbitrary number of photos. I have 1,800 images on the site, all of which are 1MB or less. They are viewing size, not archival or printing size. I am using perhaps 1.8 GB of their precious space. Go to Best Buy and see if you can buy an SD or CF card that small. Good luck with that.

It would seem that their professed vision for Flickr is little more than BS. The real vision is dollar signs and the strategy is extortion. Pay us money, or bad things will happen to your stuff. It makes me really enthusiastic about upgrading to SmugMug.

The greatest loss here may be the accounts of people who have passed on. Their photos may not be backed up anywhere. The Flickr VP is clearly not a photography enthusiast.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:44 AM   #7
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The greatest loss here may be the accounts of people who have passed on. Their photos may not be backed up anywhere.
True that. There is no way to know which photos will get the axe. How many photos can I view in less than 3 months? Surely not hundreds of thousands!
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:51 AM   #8
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They will delete photos from oldest to newest until the account is at 1000 photos.

I'm somewhat pissed myself and am contemplating what to do next. Part of me thinks it would've been more logical to limit by storage instead of a hard quota on the number of photos, especially since there's a big difference between those that upload at 1200px wide and those that upload at full resolution. But, on the other hand, not as many people would be incentivized to pay up for pro accounts, which is obviously one of their endgoals.

Right now I have just under 1400 photos uploaded and am using less than 1GB of storage. It makes no sense to pay $50 for such puny levels of server space, so if I were to go pro, it would be for the community aspect - but several people I follow are likely to leave as a result of these changes, leaving the community worse off and meaning that I'm paying for a more mediocre product in the end. (About 1/4 of the people I follow are free account holders with more than 1000 photos; a further 10-15% are free users with between 900 and 1000 photos and will soon be constrained for growth.)

And then there's the archival aspect of it. Losing stuff like this is just a damn shame. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr

Maybe Trainspo? I've been considering setting up over there.

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Old 11-07-2018, 01:47 AM   #9
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Losing stuff like this is just a damn shame. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr
Oh, great. Another 4,191 photos at risk. Thanks a lot, ThugMug.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:13 PM   #10
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My policy to not use flickr and only upload a handful of images to my personal facebook, and here pays off!

Loyd L.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:03 PM   #11
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My policy to not use flickr and only upload a handful of images to my personal facebook, and here pays off!

Loyd L.
Awesome strategy. You just can't lose if you don't play the game.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:10 PM   #12
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ThugMug.
"Thugmug". I love it. Now, if we could just make it go viral on social media, it might just get the attention of that "kid" VP with the bicycle helmet and perhaps he might begin to see how his strategy is rather thugish.

I was starting to think "aw, maybe it is worth $50 to avoid the hassle of having to re-create my content someplace else".....until Jacques just pointed out that I'd essentially be paying $50/year for perhaps 1.8 GB of storage. When you look at it that way, it is pretty sickening.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:58 PM   #13
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I wrote a letter voicing my concerns to the support line, and received the following response, which largely is a rehash of the announcement:

Thank you for contacting Flickr.

SmugMug has long had a saying that resonates deeply with the Flickr team and the way we believe we can best serve your needs: “You are not our product. You are our priority.” We want to build features and experiences that delight you. We know some of the changes to Flickr will have a large impact on some of our users, but we are working incredibly hard and carefully to ensure that we continue to build a sustainable business in support of our vibrant community of photographers.

At the heart of Flickr is our community, and we believe Flickr photographers should be our priority and not our product. In 2013 when Yahoo introduced a free terabyte of photo storage, it attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with our community of photography lovers. This shifted our platform away from a focus on community interaction to an interest in advertisers’ priorities.

Flickr’s goal has always been to maintain a community of photographers, giving them a way to share their images with others of similar interests, rather than being a “cloud” service or a place to store photos. Reducing the free storage offering ensures that we run Flickr on subscriptions, which guarantees that our focus is always on how to make your experience better. We want to build features and experiences that delight you, not our advertisers; ensuring that our members are also our customers makes this possible.

We believe Free members are essential to a vibrant, healthy Flickr. We are determined to provide a free tier that allows anyone to meaningfully participate in, and contribute to, the Flickr community. In regards to the amount of photos now being allowed, generally photographers don’t tend to think about their photos in megabytes and gigabytes. Counting photos is simpler and more intuitive, and it’s also more closely aligned to Flickr’s past—before 2013, free members could upload 200 photos. We liked the idea of returning to our roots, but with free space for five times as many photos as before.

We understand that this is a big change, however, we do anticipate that these changes will move Flickr forward in its original aim of being a vibrant, thriving community of photographers, able to interact with those who share a similar passion.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to help.


"In regards to the amount of photos now being allowed, generally photographers don’t tend to think about their photos in megabytes and gigabytes. Counting photos is simpler and more intuitive..."

How many photographers out there are not aware of storage requirements, especially those who shoot RAW?

Apparently they do not know the community that they claim they are serving.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:39 AM   #14
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How many photographers out there are not aware of storage requirements, especially those who shoot RAW?

Apparently they do not know the community that they claim they are serving.
My points exactly, Doug.

The question I'd like to put to the bozo in charge is: Exactly how many people do you think would buy into paying $50/year for 1-5 GB of storage? I think they know the answer is not very many. In this case, the only real incentive to bite on that very distasteful deal is the thought of losing all of the man-hours you've put into the content on that 1-5 GB of storage.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:57 PM   #15
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I wrote a letter voicing my concerns to the support line, and received the following response, which largely is a rehash of the announcement:

Thank you for contacting Flickr.

SmugMug has long had a saying that resonates deeply with the Flickr team and the way we believe we can best serve your needs: “You are not our product. You are our priority.” We want to build features and experiences that delight you. We know some of the changes to Flickr will have a large impact on some of our users, but we are working incredibly hard and carefully to ensure that we continue to build a sustainable business in support of our vibrant community of photographers.

At the heart of Flickr is our community, and we believe Flickr photographers should be our priority and not our product. In 2013 when Yahoo introduced a free terabyte of photo storage, it attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with our community of photography lovers. This shifted our platform away from a focus on community interaction to an interest in advertisers’ priorities.

Flickr’s goal has always been to maintain a community of photographers, giving them a way to share their images with others of similar interests, rather than being a “cloud” service or a place to store photos. Reducing the free storage offering ensures that we run Flickr on subscriptions, which guarantees that our focus is always on how to make your experience better. We want to build features and experiences that delight you, not our advertisers; ensuring that our members are also our customers makes this possible.

We believe Free members are essential to a vibrant, healthy Flickr. We are determined to provide a free tier that allows anyone to meaningfully participate in, and contribute to, the Flickr community. In regards to the amount of photos now being allowed, generally photographers don’t tend to think about their photos in megabytes and gigabytes. Counting photos is simpler and more intuitive, and it’s also more closely aligned to Flickr’s past—before 2013, free members could upload 200 photos. We liked the idea of returning to our roots, but with free space for five times as many photos as before.

We understand that this is a big change, however, we do anticipate that these changes will move Flickr forward in its original aim of being a vibrant, thriving community of photographers, able to interact with those who share a similar passion.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to help.

I've seen that response word for word elsewhere- some Flickr staffer simply cut-and-pasted it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:22 PM   #16
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I've seen that response word for word elsewhere- some Flickr staffer simply cut-and-pasted it.
Yes, that is the statement that the Flickr VP created. You reach it through a series of links that were sent to subscribers. I recognized it immediately when I read Doug's post.

I suspect that any inquiry to them about the new policy/strategy gets the same form letter. Nowadays, you're not allowed to reach a real human being, or attempt to reason with one when dealing with almost any corporation. Quality and customer service no longer matter. Dollars are the only language they speak.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:35 PM   #17
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Now I finally get my payoff for being too lazy to scan and post images. I have nothing to worry about here or on Flickr...
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:39 PM   #18
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Now I finally get my payoff for being too lazy to scan and post images. I have nothing to worry about here or on Flickr...
Same here, except if they restrict Explore to paying accounts. Explore gets you a lot of views, faves and comments, and everything you do on Flickr snowballs into even more views, faves and comments. It's great having followers all over the world.

On the other hand, I've been looking at some of the photos by those I follow that could be deleted, and some of them are outstanding. What a shame.
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:56 PM   #19
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Interesting. I never even heard of Explore until just now. That certainly sounds like something for which they would charge (you know, anything desirable).

From the moment I saw this announcement, it made me wonder if submissions on this site would take an upturn. I'm not a betting man, but if someone forced me to put my money on the table, I would place it on "Yes."
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