Flickr Changes for the Better and Worse

So Flickr has rolled out some changes, and there have been some good and some bad things that have happened, and these changes will affect you more or less depending on what kind of member you are.

Free Accounts
The first thing you need to know is that they are offering one terabyte of image storage space for free to everyone and anyone. They also increased the per-photo storage size so you can upload full resolution versions of your images to Flickr. Free accounts in the past limited your photo upload size heavily, and capped out your per-day uploads of photos. They also limited by number rather than file size, the number of photos free accounts could have uploaded at any one time.

This new free account seems pretty powerful in that respect because you have a ton of storage space for free for your photos, and can upload a larger number of photos per day.

The downside of this of course is that Flickr is rolling out more ads everywhere. Lots of people saw this coming sooner or later, and as far as I know, there have been ads on the site for a long time, but my Ad Blocker on my browser filters them out.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 1.32.16 PM

New Design
They’ve also updated the design and it greatly improves the experience of browsing through photos. With your photostream really a wall of photos, all placed together on the page, scrolling through them is amazing. I felt that it removes some things that I enjoyed in the old interface as a data freak, such as view per photo and an easy understanding of which photos have received comments, but as a photo viewer, the experience is top notch.

No More Pro Accounts
Unfortunately, the things that have been removed for a long time Pro member like myself are hugely frustrating.

First off, I won’t get to renew my current Pro membership any longer. Apparently, the ability to add some more years to this was taken away the same day the new version was released to the world.

Also, the current Pro account is being removed. This means that I won’t be able to have the “Unlimited” space account past my renewal date this fall.

Here is what you used to get with Pro:

  • Unlimited photo uploads (50MB per photo)
  • Unlimited video uploads (90 seconds max, 500MB per video)
  • The ability to show HD Video
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Archiving of high-resolution original images
  • The ability to replace a photo
  • Post any of your photos or videos in up to 60 group pools
  • View count and referrer statistics
  • Limitation of maximum image size available to others
  • Ad-free browsing and sharing

Also, many of my years of Flickr have been purchased for me by others. I’ve also gifted Pro subscriptions to others. Of course, now that Pro is being removed, this is no longer an option.

The only option provided me was to transition to the Free account level. They wanted me to do this now, despite having over three months of Pro level subscription left.

Only those that have automatic renewals on their Pro subscription set-up before the transition yesterday will be able to continue to pay $25 per year to receive all of their grandfathered benefits. The rest of us have the choice to transition to the free account or to pay $50 per year for an ad-free account.

Why would anyone pay $50 per year just to remove advertising? Well, this is likely aimed at professional photographers that use Flickr as their business gallery service that won’t want their clients to see advertisements next to their work, and as far as I can tell provides no other benefits.

Amusingly, there is also the Doublr account level for $500 per year that provides two terabytes of storage, or twice what the free account level offers.

I wanted to give $25 per year to Yahoo to use Flickr. I really love Flickr as a photo backup/hosting/display service, but they’ve created a situation where I no longer have any reason to give them money. I’ll be bumped down to the free account level in August, and if the advertising becomes too annoying, then I’ll move my photos somewhere else.

Want to see my photostream on Flickr?

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