For those who are pro photographers or have been on the internet for long, Flickr has been, for a long time, the go-to place for storing and sharing photos with the rest of the world.
I’ve personally used it to upload and, subsequently, share with you here, sample images I take using the various devices whose reviews I pen here. Like this album containing 268 snaps I took in Rome back in April using the Tecno Camon X Pro in all their high-res glory. Or this one with images from my trip to Lisbon 18 months ago as captured using the Infinix S2 Pro.
Good and handy as Flickr has been for those of us who’ve grown with the service over the years, the good days are gone, it appears.
Flickr has announced that starting January 8th, 2019, existing users who have been enjoying the service’s generous 1 terabyte free offering, will either need to part with about Kshs 5,000 to upgrade to Flickr Pro, the premium tier, or be limited to having just 1,000 of their photos and videos being hosted on Flickr. Yeah, that. “Flickr users that upgrade to Pro before November 30 will also get 30 percent off the first year.”
“Unfortunately, “free” services are seldom actually free for users. Users pay with their data or with their time. We would rather the arrangement be transparent,” reads a press statement from Flickr sent out yesterday.
“… making storage free had the unfortunate effect of signaling to an entire generation of Flickr members that storage—and even Flickr itself—isn’t worth paying for,” reads another statement posted on Flickr’s blog.
Here’s some context: given its dwindling fortunes, Yahoo (or rather, AOL, its new owner) sold Flickr to SmugMug, a photo service. So, sooner rather than later, some sweeping changes both meant to make it a sustainable business for the new owners as well as the attractive community of photographers it has always claimed to be, were going to come, anyway. And they have.
Going forward, Flickr users won’t need to sign in to their linked Yahoo accounts in order to access the photo service.
In case you don’t heed to Flickr’s advice to find a new home for your photos, in case you’re not interested in upgrading to the premium tier, then they’ll be deleted a month after the new guidelines kick in (on February 5th). On January 8th, existing users who have more than a thousand photos on Flickr won’t be able to add any new photos to the photostream.
So, now, in case you’re still interested in storing your photos online what do you do? Two words: Google Photos.