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Goodbye.

After years together, I’m finally cutting you off.

I think we all know (yourself included) that you’ve changed.

You were so nice before. Everyone loved you. You connected people, only asking for what they could afford to give you in return. You provided like-minded individuals with a safe space to share and connect, without judgement.

Now. Now you’re just a leech. You keep demanding for more, and you’re never satisfied. I’ve stayed with you this long because I don’t want to forget the good times we’ve had. And I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to find another like you if I left.

But it’s no longer worth it.

….

So goodbye, Flickr.

Aha, gotchu there didn’t I? 😛

Anyway. This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally unsubscribing from my Flickr Pro.

It feels like a bad breakup. Mostly because all my photos from 2016 are hosted on Flickr (you’ve seen them too – they’re all embedded on this blog, because I wouldn’t have enough space on WordPress otherwise) – and now I’m left wondering how the hell I’m going to update the thousands of broken links on old posts that will inadvertently result from this unsubscription lol.

To those who have been around, you’ll remember that Flickr used to offer 1TB of storage for free accounts. So when Smug Mug (a small, independent run company that owns a similar photo sharing service) bought over Flickr from Yahoo in 2018, many Flickr users were apprehensive. But the company assured users that there would be no changes to the plans or rates. “Flickr’s free accounts are foundational to its community of influential and engaged photographers,” they were quoted as saying in this article by the Guardian.

It didn’t take long for them to flip lol. In January 2019, Smug Mug announced that yeah – they’ll still have free accounts – they just won’t let you upload more than 1,000 photos. And if your existing account has more than that, then boo hoo, we’ll just delete them.

Of course, me having thousands of photos on the site that were already embedded in the blog, this felt like an ultimatum, a hammer that they held over the heads of users in a similar predicament. Pay, or lose a large chunk of my images? I did not want to go through the trouble of reuploading three years worth of photos onto the blog – and there didn’t seem to be an alternative at the time. So grudgingly, I paid USD34 (about RM161) for a Pro subscription.

At the time, I still felt like RM161 was a fair price – it only came up to about RM10+ per month.

But as time went on, it seemed to me that SmugMug had unrealistically high hopes for ‘turning Flickr around’. While it is understood that SmugMug is a small company with limited resources, their decision to limit photos to 1k made them extremely unpopular with Flickr users. They lost tonnes of subscribers, and as of this December 2021 report by Techspot, were still losing money.

So what did they do? They decided to charge their existing users MORE. In 2020, they doubled the price of the pro accounts to USD60 (outside of the US, it’s even higher due to ‘tax charges’.)

I can’t stress enough what a lousy idea this is. It’s a surefire way to lose what little people you had that had a reason to stick to Flickr.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I got a notification recently reminding me to renew my subscription, which will expire in November. Lo and behold.

USD79.99.

For convenience’s sake, we’ll round it off to USD80. In ringgit Malaysia, that’s RM379. That’s more than double what they were initially charging four years ago. I do this as a hobby, not a profession – and I know USD80 is fahking steep even for Americans when there are alternatives like Google Photos out there.

You already upped the fee in my second year, and then it shot all the way up to USD71.99 in 2020 (when we had a frigging pandemic, mind you, and i STILL paid for your services. Now you want to charge me 80???)

When does it stop, Flickr?

I’m not a business major, but I think it makes sense that if you’re losing money, you either restructure your business into a more sustainable model, or you downsize. You do NOT charge your existing customers MORE just to make up for your losses. Because that’s a surefire way of losing the customer for good. Example, *moi* (rolls eyes).

I’m basically being punished for choosing to stay with your company through the years. Now where the fk is the logic in that?

Maybe it’s a good thing. With how things are going rn, I wouldn’t be surprised if Flickr shuts down sooner or later – and then all the users will be scrambling to get photos from their database before they’re gone forever.

But yeah. Bye Flickr. It’s been fun while it lasted. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

PS: This means when my Flickr subscription expires next month, there’s going to be a shitload of broken photo links. I’m just going to take my time uploading stuff to Google Photos and embedding them.

I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

4 thoughts on “Goodbye.

  1. This is so truee. I used to love Flickr back when they were still under Yahoo! When they started the 1000 photo limit, I had to transfer my photos to Google Photos. GP does a little less than what Flickr could, but they’ve been really reliable so far.

    Liked by 1 person

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