An open letter to Smugmug re Flickr

Sunday, November 04, 2018

As a long time member of the Flickr community (since 2005) and Pro, I haven't participated in the Flickr community much in the last few years. I've seen the community become a ghost town with most people moving on to 500px or Instagram.

Flickr was neglected by Yahoo for many years and (even with Pro subscriptions to keep the lights on) there has been little change to the site or the app.

The acquisition of Flickr by Smugmug should have been a fresh start for Flickr with Smugmug bringing new innovations and ideas to the table on how to move things forward. Smugmug should be talking to existing customers (especially Pros) about why they stayed, what they enjoyed and what they missed from the heyday of the service. Smugmug should be communicating more about Flickr's financial position and asking customers about fund-raising "add-ons" they would want to purchase - prints, books, business/art cards, Pro + features like slideshows (Animoto style) and storefronts for prints/digital assets. There are plenty of photography related competitors making money.

Now I'm more worried for Flickr than ever. Instead of working with the Flickr community, they took the easy route (which I believe is also the wrong route) to increase the fees before offering anything new, effectively punishing long time supporters and driving them away. Flickr membership isn't really worth anything , not even the $25 I've been paying. Google or Apple will back up all your photos for free. And if you backup your computer you're covered anyway.

So what are we paying for? Comments on each others photos? A pat on the back? Discussions and info in community groups that could just as easily be found in the many camera fan forums? Smugmug needs to think about the value the site offers to the customer before increasing rates.

Let me know your thoughts below.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like