Stick with Flickr Pro or go with ????
August 13, 2012 6:28 AM   Subscribe

It's time to renew my Flickr Pro account and I'm hesitating. Should I stick with Flickr or not?

I know this has come up before but the landscape keeps changing and it's hard to keep up. The community aspects of Flickr are of lesser importance to me now than they once were and have taken somewhat of a backseat to my desire for improved presentation.

I mostly use Flickr as photo storage for my Wordpress blog although I have a couple of sets that are linked to by (geographically) local groups on their websites. I'm willing to deal with most of my blog links and those sites going 404 (which will happen when my Flickr account reverts to free).

I've got some photos up on 500px but that's the only alternative I've personally investigated. Your suggestions are welcome.
posted by tommasz to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's $25 a year. If you experience more than half hour or hour's worth of extra work by letting the account lapse, then it's not worth it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I've been using Flickr Pro since 2006 (including to embed photos on my blog), and I plan to keep renewing it. I think it's the best photo site. To me, it does everything a photo site should, for a pretty reasonable cost. (To keep it in perspective, I used to spend far more money developing photos and putting them in dead-tree photo albums before I switched to doing it online.) In order to switch to another site, I'd need to be convinced that the other site had all the Flickr features I cared about and had some extra-special component that would outweigh the hassle of switching.

I don't know what you mean by "the landscape keeps changing and it's hard to keep up." It's pretty easy to use Flickr the same you would have used it 5 years ago, if that's what you want. They add features in response to demand from the users, but you don't have to use every new feature. (For instance, people kept demanding the ability to put "sets" into different categories, so Flickr inevitably catered to the demand by introducing "collections." On the whole, this has made Flickr easier to use. However, if you don't want to bother with this feature, you're free to keep your photos in sets without putting the sets into collections.)
posted by John Cohen at 6:40 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've looked at 500px and I've had a Zenfolio account in the past. I've experimented with hosting photos myself. I still come back to Flickr. I do like the community features, even though I use them less than I did back in the day. It would sure be nice of Yahoo spent a few bucks updating the stupid interface and dialed back on the white space. I just can't find anything that works as well, and I don't have any motivation in migrating all the photos I've already tagged and organized and uploaded to Flickr. I'll be watching this thread, but I just re-upped my own Flickr pro account yesterday, and I see no better alternative out there.
posted by aabbbiee at 6:49 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Originally I hosted all my own photos with some photo gallery software but ended up going over to Flickr because it saved me the time and hassle of managing my uploads, making sure my software was up to date to avoid security issues, and unlimited storage/bandwidth for 25$ a year is a pretty good deal.
posted by Captain_Science at 6:56 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I just re-upped my Flickr Pro subscription and I'm not exactly a big photo dude. It's convenient, clean and easily-accessible, and I'm willing to pay for that.
posted by griphus at 6:57 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm another long-term Flickr user (since February 2005, had to look at my profile for the reminder). I still prefer it to others, namely for its simplicity. I've had a web page since 1994, images since 1995, self-hosted my scanned photos of France for quite a while, but once Flickr came along, I tried it out and have stuck with it.

It's easy, it's clean, organizing photos is straightforward, it's only $25/year, which, when you have thousands of photos that are all between 1-2Mb each, makes for very cheap bandwidth. I've been delighted that they've kept Pro accounts so cheap.

Have you checked how much of your blog traffic comes in via image searches? has been the top referrer for my blog for about a year now. I've also met quite a few neat people through that+Flickr. Letting so many photos go 404 may prove a bigger non-monetary cost than you think.
posted by fraula at 7:08 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I ask myself this every renewal (been a Pro since it went Gamma, but was free since early 2005) and I tell myself its all going to go poof anyday so best not to commit too long to it. And then I renew it again for another year or two depending on how confident I'm feeling.

Its not dead yet and seems to be holding up well even though so much of the web from its era has disintegrated.
posted by infini at 7:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, I love flickr. It's easy, reliable, and the searches provide a good deal of traffic for my (small, not at all for profit) blog. It's a no brainer for me every year.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:51 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I just renewed Flickr again. It's not going anywhere; at worst Yahoo would spin it out and it's a viable business. Also Flickr has had more product updates than people give it credit for, it's not moribund. I agree with the general feeling that it's about time for some new photo product to disrupt the market and take over. But it hasn't happened yet, Flickr's still the best of the options I know of.
posted by Nelson at 8:40 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I have been using Flickr Pro for the last 5 years - every year, I look at other options, including Smugmug, Shutterfly, snapfish, and even Picasa, but somehow end up going back to Flickr. Although, in response to demand from friends and relatives, I have started posting low-res (1024x768) photos to Picasa, as most people have a Google account.

If Flickr folded, the next best option, although slightly more expensive would be smugmug.
posted by theobserver at 9:12 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Since 2006, Flickr Pro has been my under-the-bed shoebox full of photos , for which I'm happy to pay $2/month. And to rebut whatever misgivings people are having about the lack of social features, etc., I never expected people crawling under my bed looking into my stuff, TYVM.

So yeah, I renew my Pro every year without much thought; and in fact rely on it to not try anything too networky (it's Yahoo, afterall), and/or cave to the changes in the landscape you mention.
posted by obscurator at 10:26 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Renew it. $25 is a huge bargain for unlimited storage. Flickr also recently increased the image size on the site to up to 50MB in size. It's also a great way to index your photos for search if you care about that. Photos are easy to blog there and you have a blog. It's worth it for that alone.

The organization capability for photos on Flickr is also very strong. Use SuprSetr to organize your photos by keywords and you can build something really cool.

Traffic on Flickr and social has been declining, but I think that they are going to try and ramp this up again. They are hiring across most job categories for the first time in years. For most of the past few years it's been layoffs for Flickr, but they seem to be intent on improving the site at this point.

I'm a power user, but I can't imagine not having a Flickr Pro account. Some of Flickr's social has moved to G+, which is a good free place for an account too and free but Flickr stores your full high res photos while G+ downsizes your images. I have and use both.

If you want to actually *sell* photos (Flickr doesn't allow you to sell beyond a link on your profile page) SmugMug is good too.
posted by thomashawk at 2:13 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you've already got a hosting account that offers plenty of storage and bandwidth *and* if you can move your photos to said account without needing to upgrade your plan then I'd do that. Most gallery software is easy enough to maintain that I'd take the $25/year savings. If, on the other hand, hosting your photos yourself would increase your plan cost (or if you're willing to pay to have somebody else do the maintenance) then I'd stick with Flickr.
posted by -1 at 6:01 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I've been happily using Flickr Pro for a while and just got my renewal notice, too. The only thing that made hesitate is that it seems that I'll now be set up for auto renewal, which isn't something I want - but I saw no way to opt out of that. I guess I could use a credit card with an expiration date prior to the date of my next Flickr Pro renewal.
posted by jeri at 12:36 AM on August 14, 2012

Best answer: Go to your account setting - you should be able to set it up so that you get a reminder email/s in advance but no auto renew.
posted by infini at 2:22 AM on August 14, 2012

Response by poster: I'll be honest and say the support for Flickr surprises me a little but the message is certainly clear. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
posted by tommasz at 4:54 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oddly enough, the only way to avoid auto-renew is to cancel your account. Since Flickr gives no refunds, you still have the Pro account for your whole term, so what you're really canceling is the auto-renewal. See the Payments FAQ.
posted by jeri at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2012

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