Flickr is making its first major change after photo management platform SmugMug acquired the image and video-hosting site earlier this year. The company announced that it will be rolling out several updates to its free and Pro accounts after claiming to have taken feedback from its "photographer community" members. Arguably, one of the most interesting changes is that Flickr will now have a simpler login where there will be no need for a Yahoo account. Additionally, Flickr has also refreshed its account structure to create new limits for free users and unlimited storage for Pro subscribers.
Five years ago, Flickr, then owned by Yahoo, started offering 1TB of storage in its free tier. However, as mentioned, the company was later sold to SmugMug. Now, the company is offering 1,000 photos and videos, regardless of size in the free tier. It has also removed the 1TB of free storage benefit. Notably, free accounts on Flickr with over 1,000 photos uploaded on the site will have until January 8, 2019 to either upgrade to the Pro version or remove photos over the 1,000 limit. After that, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr.
Andrew Stadlen, VP of Product at Flickr, in an announcement explaining the move, said, "First, and most crucially, the free terabyte largely attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with other lovers of photography. This caused a significant tonal shift in our platform, away from the community interaction and exploration of shared interests that makes Flickr the best shared home for photographers in the world." He also added, "Giving away vast amounts of storage creates data that can be sold to advertisers, with the inevitable result being that advertisers' interests are prioritised over yours. 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."
Additionally, Flickr is adding several changes to the Flickr Pro service priced at $49.99. Flickr Pro users will now get unlimited storage of photos and videos, ad-free browsing, advanced stats, and access to a community of over 100 million photographers. Flickr users who upgrade to Pro before November 30 will also get a 30 percent off the first year.
The updated Flickr will also ditch the Yahoo Login. With a new login rolled out to the site scheduled in early 2019, users will be able to sign up with any email address, not just a Yahoo account. "Here at Flickr, we've long wanted a simpler login solution that would allow each member to use the email address of their choice. And since SmugMug bought Flickr from Yahoo, we've been working toward this goal," says Nihir Patel, Product at Flickr. He added, "We've partnered with a team of experts at AWS to create this new, simpler login solution for Flickr. By leveraging AWS's Machine Learning-based account protection, we're working to keep your Flickr account more secure than ever."