I just finished downloading all of my content from Flickr. It amounts to 21 ZIP files that Flickr prepared when I requested my archive, totaling almost 62.5 gigabytes from about 10,000 photos. I joined in 2007 when I was scanning old film and photographing with a $200 point and shoot. My account is now deleted.
I upgraded to a pro account when I outgrew my free one, probably in 2008. Years went by. I joined groups, followed friends and strangers, submitted to contests. I photographed weddings and delivered galleries on Flickr. At some point my smartphone’s photos auto-uploaded to Flickr (but remained private). Curators from Getty Images requested a bunch of my photos for their stock site, which I still receive money from on occasion. I contributed photos to the creative commons collection. Eventually I became less active in the Flickr community, possibly because the community felt like it was disappearing. But, I became more active in using the site as a utility.
Then 2013 happened. Flickr increased their free account limit to 1 terabyte of space which meant the only pro feature that I had been paying for was useless. I’m not here to say what they should have done or complain, because Flickr was great at one point. I have little confidence in their future with SmugMug, but that’s neither here nor there. Think about these few things though:
🔥 I was an active user and never reached 1/10th the amount of free storage they offered
🔥 The top 5 cameras on Flickr are currently…iPhones (yes, five different models of iPhones rank above any DSLR).
🔥 It is 2018 and the Flickr mobile website is almost unusable.
To be fair, Flickr did a solid job communicating all of these changes to their users over the years. I never felt uninformed, or like communication was lacking. But I did feel like they took the wrong path at every fork in the road, for years. This new beginning of theirs feels a lot like an end. And you know what? That’s ok.