Flickr Updates & Alternatives November 2018
When SmugMug first acquired Flickr back in April 2018, I was a bit worried, but after further investigation, I figured It would be okay and decided to just wait and see what happens. Well, in 6 months they have made some significant changes to Flickr already.
Flickr Changes So Far
- Grandfathered Flickr Pro Accounts Price Increase – In August 2018 they announced that grandfathered Flickr Pro accounts were no longer going to be available at the current price of $25. Now all Pro members would be paying the same, which is currently set at $49.99 per year or $5.99 per month, depending on the plan. This is all in USD.
- Free Account Limitations – On November 1st 2018 they announced that free accounts will soon be limited to 1,000 photos or videos. If you are not a Flickr Pro member by January 8, 2019 and you have over 1000 images/videos in your account, you will no longer be able to upload new content. After February 5, 2019 they will delete your content starting from oldest to newest date uploaded.
- Virtual World / Digital Artists Not Welcome – On October 31st they wrote a blog post “We Can’t Stand Spam Either” which concerned a lot of digital artists like myself. In the post they stated that they are a “photographer-focused community” and that phrase, along with treatment by other flickr members, made a lot of digital artists concerned for their accounts. I spoke to the CEO on Twitter and he responded with this:
Virtual photographers are photographers. You love photography. We love photography. You pay us. You rock and we love you.
— Don MacAskill (@DonMacAskill) November 1, 2018
That response was satisfactory for me because I am a paying flickr member, but the way he worded it, saying “you pay us” made me feel that free accounts may still be at risk of being deleted if reported by other members.
My Thoughts on the Changes
Although I do feel that Flickr now making it so that more people will sign up for Pro may be a good thing in the long run for the company, and perhaps improve the performance, I do know that this situation will also affect a lot of people negatively. Many won’t be able to afford the new Pro pricing plans and will either have to keep their photos and videos under 1000 or move to another photo sharing/storage site.
I’m not leaving flickr at all. I’ve been there since 2007 and I’ve got a lot of memories on there. But I do feel that it is important to branch out to other networks and storage sites just in case something does go wrong or they make more changes in the future.
I’ve made a list of other photo sharing sites I’m on, or have recently joined, that you can also join. I’m also going to make a poll so we can see which networks virtual world residents want to stay most active on, and continue to build the communities there.
- Instagram – Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social network owned by Facebook. It is free to use with no restrictions. Out of all the Flickr Alternatives, I prefer this one the most and I’m most active on it. I follow many Second Life accounts on Instagram already, you can check my follows and add people from there if you are new on Instagram and want to get to know the community. Linden Lab also has official Second Life and Sansar accounts on Instagram. UPDATE: I’ve done a blog post showing how to upload to Instagram from your desktop.
- Tumblr – Tumblr is more like a photo blogging site and I don’t find it very easy to follow when it comes to looking back at people’s older images and posts, but others might like it better. It is free to use without any restrictions. I’m not sure if I’ll use it but if people vote for it a lot in the poll, I’ll try and post there more often.
- Deviant Art – Deviant Art is one of the biggest online communities for artists and art-lovers. I have heard that a lot of the artists on DeviantArt don’t appreciate Second Life images, but I’m not sure how true that is. I have also heard that many people steal images from there and it’s better to protect your work by watermarks, etc… I’m not active on there at all, but if a lot of people vote for it in the poll, I’ll try being more active.
- Koinup – Koinup is an image and video hosting service, web portal and online community for virtual world users. I have tried for many years to keep up on Koinup but it has been a roller coaster ride. Sometimes it lets me upload images and sometimes it doesn’t. I gave up loading content there in the summer again as it was giving me uploading errors continuously. I just tried to upload an image today and it works. Koinup would be ideal for virtual world users to use, I just wish it was more stable and stayed that way. For now I’ll try using it more often again.
- Ipernity – Ipernity is an independent, non-commercial photo sharing community with more than 25,000 active registered users worldwide. I honestly don’t like it very much and can’t really see myself using it. Their free accounts also have restrictions:
- no more than 200 MB of added content per month
- 30 MB max per file added
- only your 200 latest photos and videos are accessible (your older content disappears but is not deleted. They reappear again if you become a member of the ipernity Club) as of June, 3 2014
- some ads may appear on your pages
- no color customization of your pages
- no possibility of downloading: you cannot download your content to your computer nor offer this possibility to your visitors.
- you can join up to 100 groups
- no priority support
For a free photo storage option, I also want to mention that I am using Google Photos as a backup. You can back up unlimited photos and videos for free, up to 16MP and 1080p HD and access them from any phone, tablet, or computer by going to photos.google.com. This is not a photo networking site, just a photo storage option if you are looking to keep your memories safe in another way.
Let me know if you guys think of other alternatives that may be better than these. Also please fill out the poll below and feel free to add any networks you think should be on the list in the other section.
Please note that multiple selections are allowed in the poll in case you plan to post your images on more than one network. (If you do not see the poll embedded below, please try turning off your ad blocker, thank you).
UPDATE: People requested I add in Ello and Imgur to the poll, so I did. But I don’t really think we can build communities there. Ello maybe, and I do have an account there, but Imgur doesn’t seem much like it would work. I’ve also added Pinterest, which may work.
If you decide to stick with Flickr and go Pro like I have, just a reminder that they do have a 30% off the first year discount available through November 30, 2018.
I hope this post helps us continue to create communities on more platforms so we can keep our memories safe and also get to know each other more. Please feel free to share links to your photo sharing profiles in the comments so we can all follow and strengthen the community. Thank you.
UPDATE: I’ve done another blog post with some Flickr tips for those that are staying: Flickr Tips for Virtual World and Digital Artists
37 thoughts on “Flickr Updates & Alternatives November 2018”
“That response was satisfactory for me because I am a paying flickr member, but the way he worded it, saying “you pay us” made me feel that free accounts may still be at risk of being deleted if reported by other members.”
I just want to correct/update this part. On official Flickr community page they replied to the same question yesterday and no “pro account” or “payed” was used in it. Their reply was exactly the same done by the same person that Virtual Photography is also a Photography. So if your account is Pro or not it doesn’t matter, they are both safe at Flickr and your Second Life photos will not be marked as spam.
I have no plans to leave Flickr. I keep both my personal and SL photos there and have been happy enough with the service in the past and look forward to the future getting even better.
I use Instagram for all of my personal pix which then slide over to Flickr. I just opened an SL related account there also but haven’t been utilizing it very much as there doesn’t seem to be as much of an SL presence there yet. Flickr still, the best place for sharing and finding virtual content.
I like Instagram too, but i haven’t figured out yet how to send photos from your computer (from harddisk) to Instagram. I hope LL adds a feature to send snapshots directly to Instagram too.
Great information, Strawberry. Thanks! I’ve had a Pro Flickr account for many years and will continue to use it, as long as Second Life photos are welcome. That said, I’m gonna have to check out how they will treat product photos with links to SL Marketplace or blogs. Have you looked into that aspect at all?
Thanks for the post!
I have a Tumblr. Deviantart, Instagram and Twitter are for my RL art, and Koinup is dead since years now.
goodness … I have been away one week on a business trip and this blows up. The CEO’s reply is somehow reassuring so I think I will stay for the moment. I have been on flickr with both SL and RL accounts for more than 10 years and it hs been an integral part of my life. It feels wrong to pay 5.99 per month for what it is basically just storage, but they are aligned with google or dropbox after all. Concerning which, you did not mention google photos. It has been my secondary storage for years, even if I largely preferred picasa and the desktop application. I still think it is a viable alternative
I know this isn’t a factor for a lot of SL photographers, but I think it’s worth noting that Instagram has very strict rules about nudity or sexual activity in photos displayed on Instagram. As in it’s completely disallowed. This is a pretty common theme in SL photography (it is Second Life, after all, so if your photos contain any adult content they won’t be welcome on Instagram.
Hey! Thanks for making this post. I was hoping someone important with the community would put a word out there to help us all stay connected even with the uneasiness some may feel with Flikr’s changes. I signed up to Instagram to follow a few of my favorites I knew had moved, and considering dusting off my Tumblr and Pintrest that I have not touched in forever. Any possibility of a list of creators and alternative places to find them being made and shared?
i am a free flickr member, and just deleted all but 8 pictures of my account, because i have them saved on my computer’s hard drive. i have seen this coming, as like you said, that the more pro people they get or paying customer’s the better the upkeep will be, hopefully!
i am thinking hard about joining the pro version, i am a virtual photographer in second life, and i enjoy being part of that commnunity. 50 us dollars is not that much really. i have backed all my photos up with BULKR…..and like i said they are saved on my hard drive.
I post in other places but not leaving Flickr anytime soon.
I will be downloading my account and then deciding which ones to keep. Maybe some of the albums, but I’m over the limit so 1/3 of my photos would have to go regardless. I will probably keep the flickr account but I don’t know how i will move forward. Instagram is tempting but it’s not as good for community, I think.
Your heading “Virtual World / Digital Artists Not Welcome” is very misleading. The post that you linked to had nothing to do with digital artists and everything to do with spam and marketers.
I dont like the idea of moving to Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg companies are not exactly friendly with SL accounts, so you may risk it all. Tumblr could be a viable option if it was bit easier and with a bit more features. I think, for now, I prefer to wait and see how it goes with Flickr.
And one thing important to consider is that I am really far from 1k photos, or the previous allowed storage, and I hardly search anything from any creator or blogger older than a year or 2. So I hardly think a blog post or a new release will reach the number of 1k photo before the photo itself is already outdated.
Lets do the math. We have around 52 weeks per year according to google, if you upload 3 photos per week(I think its a good average number for most part of people, much more than I upload per week lol), it will be 156 photos per year, so with 1k limit you will have enough for almost 6 years and half. People rarely stay for 6 years or longer in SL( of course there are exceptions). And any new release or any blog post after 6 years will be so outdated, so much has changed in sl since then.
I choose to become a premium member for the next year and see what will happen. I own (including personal photo’s) over 5000 images and I don’t want to lose those.
Many seem to be going to Instagram without reading the guidelines. For example, the no nudity rule. I don’t want to risk losing my photo because it shows a nipple.
I’m going nowhere!
Even though many places / businesses must make money, I honestly feel bad for those like myself who can’t afford Pro, even at the discounted price.
Thanks for helping to clarify the new Flickr changes, Strawberry, and for sharing your thoughts about them, as well as listing various alternatives. I’ll stick with my free Flickr account for now because I’m new to posting and don’t have much content yet. However, I may start looking into the alt sites you mentioned to see what they have offer too.
Thanks so much for this important information!
I’ve done another blog post with some Flickr tips for those that are staying: https://strawberrysingh.com/2018/11/03/flickr-tips-for-virtual-world-and-digital-artists
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The changes were bound to happen. Flickr is now plastered with people sharing their Instagram account. Do people even know how to post from a computer to Instagram? It’s doable, but not as practical as uploading a picture on Flickr, and it also requires to sign up for third-party apps which have a free option with limitations such as Later.com or Buffer.com because, essentially, Instagram is a photo app. And, as others have mentioned, Instagram has strong guidelines. Expecting everything for free no longer works. “Free” will always come with limitations.
Google+ is underrated, but is actually a nice platform for photo sharing communities.
I will stay with Flikr, as long as they let me I guess. The 1,000 limit on images does not bother me but I find the idea that I have to tag all my images as a “screenshot” very ridiculous, and it flies directly in the face of Mac AssKill’s comments, which makes me highly suspicious of his sincerity. I am okay with Flikr’s attempt to promote their Pro package, but there is absolutely no denying that they are targeting SL art and taking a negative view of digital art in general.
Along with Flikr, I place most of my pictures on SlickPic, mainly because of the high level of control they give you in how your images are printed and the way they present your images side by side professionally without crushing them and squeezing them like Flikr does. It just makes fora far better portfolio. I am also very aware that no one in SL is like to see my pics on Slickpic, lol. That is why I will keep using Flikr as well, at least until they find a way to run us all off.
the comment about needing a 3rd party app to use instagram on a PC is wrong , you dont need a third party app , all the major browsers have a build in web developer for example i use firefox on the top right of the screen up hit the 3 lines select web developer then in the top left you choose your platform , i mostly choose Ipad cause its bigger and then i use instagram just like i would from a fun , its pretty simple and easy and no 3rd party app is needed im pretty sure all the browsers have a web developer option because we all make websites with them.
I’ve had more time to think about this over the last few days and here are my thoughts…
1) I am reluctantly going to stay on Flickr but I will NOT become a Pro member. With that said I hope at some point Flickr sees the outcry on the internet over their decision to alienate so many free users and at least offers some sort of middle option where we pay a smaller price for some sort of increase in storage space.
2) I will just make it a regular thing once a year to go through my own content and either delete work that I no longer think is relevant or possibly move some to an offline archive of some sort, maybe add some of it to my inworld gallery.
3) Echoing thoughts here of a lot of people about Instagram. I find this platform to be highly hostile to SL content especially if your content tends to be on the erotic side… Ive already seen more then a few people move to Instagram who do very erotic work and I fear they are in for a rude awakening… if you are going that route PLEASE review their Terms of Service to see if your content even fits their platform (as with any new platform you may try out).
4) As much as I HATE what flickr has just done, I operate a relatively LARGE Photography group in Flickr and I will not abandon ship on my group as it is very active every single day.
So there it is I feel caught between a rock and a hard place… I’ll make flickr work on this ridiculous new free plan and maybe hope they come up with a compromise option at some point
For my country 50 dollars is a lot.
I don’t often use Flickr, I watch more updates of stores and sales there.
I don’t like that everyone decided go to Instagram. I don’t think that it supports virtual pictures and nudity.
Tumblr is the best choice, adult content is possible there, I don’t understand why all don’t consider it.
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I guess Instagram dont allow nudity
I wont afford a Pro account on Flickr, and so I will need to delete many of my photos, and surely not publish as much as I did so far.
Overall, the way Flickr goes is totally anti-social, they don’t want to build a photograhper community, they want to keep an elitist bunch of people to pay for them. Free accounts storage is not what cost them so much, compared to the popularity we give to them (with more than 1600 photos, I am at 0.4% of my current storage limit…). They just change by force who will stay, earning a few Pro subscribers in the way.
I have checked alternatives, and as I also publish a lot of nudity and sexual content, I can’t move to most platforms (like said for Instagram). For now Tumblr seems to be the only free platform that match my needs, but as Strawberry said, it’s not handy for following a stream (the dashboard is terrible if you have to watch more than a dozen of new pictures), and there is no thing like Flockr groups; but for now, that’s my best alternative.
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I’ve done another blog post for those that are also joining Instagram explaining how to upload to Instagram from your desktop:
I am absolutely with @Zunx above….
Being unemployed because of some health issues, I cannot afford any money for my flickr account.I am glad when getting around and having enough to eat and pay my rent in RL!
I now have close to 800 pics on my Flickr, approx. a third of them are erotics/nudes.
And…..believe it or not…….I don’t use a smartphone! So even if Instagram allowed nudity it would NOT be my place!
I have a Koinup Account since 2010 or 2011….but like some above said before………Koinup is dead!
There are some nice “print on demand” platforms like RedBubble, where a very lively community has gathered….but nobody from SL will go and view pics on such a platform, I think. (Moreover – I doubt anyone would buy SL prints and most people who make photographs in SL stay much below the needed resolution).
So the me the only Flickr alternative is tumblr. BUT: I really really HATE their menu and way of navigating.
Means I decided to stay with Flickr and when I reach the 1K goal of pics, I simply start to delete the ones which I am not 100% convinced with, and super old ones.
I do well understand that a company wants to earn money! That is what companies are for. But I would rather cope with some nerving advertising for non pros than with limiting their upload volume!
It’s time to create an alternative site that has all the benefits that the old Flickr use to have, and provide those benefits for free. We need to fight back over Flickr’s tyranny.
After watching this video on 03.11.18 I thought it would be a good idea to make an instagram account. Today 08.11.18 I received a notice telling me my password had been changed as well as my email. Not even a week old yet. It took quite a bit to regain control of my Instagram account and I’m closing it. These people have even worse security than Facebook. Just thought people should know.
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Ello is a great option, it’s a touch like Facebook but very much open to artists of all types. I’ve posted on there for a while.
I have been using https://sharesome.com/ Still a beta site, but I like it.
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