Since Flickr was acquired by SmugMug, I have been wondering what changes this will bring to the not-so-popular-anymore platform. And now the big changes are finally coming. First of all, you soon won’t need a Yahoo! account to sign in to Flickr. But the changes are also coming to the Pro and Free accounts, limiting the free ones to 1,000 images.
Let’s start with the login changes: from January 2019, you will no longer require a Yahoo! account to access Flickr. Personally, I find this to be really good news after all the data breaches Yahoo! had. The only reason why I still have the Yahoo! account is to be able to access Flickr, and I will gladly delete it once the changes are implemented.
When it comes to the Free and Pro accounts, Flickr is introducing a lot of changes. The one that you might not like is that Free accounts are about to get limited to 1,000 photos and videos, regardless of size. Starting from Tuesday, 8 January 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr. Also, after 5 February 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted – starting from oldest to newest date uploaded. So, if you have more than 1,000 images and videos, I suggest you download your work if you don’t want to switch to Pro.
If you’d rather upgrade your account, Flickr Pro is available for $49.99 a year. There’s a 30 percent discount for the first year if you upgrade before 30 November. This is what you get if you upgrade:
- Unlimited Storage – upload an infinite amount of photos and videos at full resolution
- Ad-Free Browsing – a clean, ad-free Flickr experience for users and their visitors
- Advanced Stats – users are able to see which of their photos are trending and which have performed the best. The Flickr mobile app will now give Pros all the stats they know and love in-app.
- Premier Customer Service – Pros receive priority assistance from a brand new, world-class support team
- 5K Photo Display – for any screen, from smartphone to jumbotron.
- Increased video playback – increasing video playback time from three minutes to ten minutes
- More partner discounts – including Adobe Creative Cloud, custom portfolio sites on SmugMug, gear from Peak Design, and more
- New OG Pro badges – meant to recognize long-time Flickr community members.
At the moment, users with Free accounts have 1TB of space, which is great if you use Flickr for storage or backup. But, I think that this is what made Flickr a photo junkyard and made it use its charm. People started using it to dump thousands of family photos and holiday snapshots for free. And it’s just one of the things I’ve found annoying on Flickr over recent years.
Although limiting Free accounts to 1,000 photos made me frown at first, it didn’t take me long to change my opinion. I think that it’s actually a good decision for two reasons. First, it could make people be more selective about what they post, which will raise the quality of photography on the website. And second, it makes the Pro account actually meaningful, because upgrading completely lost the point when the limitation for Free users was extended. And if you remember, the limitation used to be 200 photos, so this is quite generous.
The only objection I have is that the photos will be deleted instead of just hidden until you upgrade to Pro. But, even with this, I believe all these changes are taking Flickr in a good direction.