Welcome Back Flickr!

Are you a Flickr lover?

Did you get fed up with Flickr over the last few years?

I always use to love Flickr and recommended it as a great storage and monitoring tool to clients.  When it got bought out by Yahoo a few years back, it lost its way for me though –  you even needed a Yahoo account in order to use it – BOO!  That along with the fact that Yahoo really didn’t ever seem to understand photography or photographers, HERE is an example of what I mean.

So, what’s changed?  Here are the four things you need to know if you too want to welcome back Flickr.

1. Who owns Flickr now?

The Flickr and Smug Mug logos

Flickr is now owned by SmugMug

SmugMug isn’t something I tend to use, but nevertheless, it is focused in the right direction for the photography community.  SmugMug have long been a great resource for photographers (they set up in 2002) and many of Vervate’s professional photographer peers use it.  So the future does look better for all of us photographers.  

That has got to be better than being owned by a company like Yahoo, who are largely web service providers.

“SmugMug and Flickr believe that all photographers—from the hobbyist to the prosumer to the professional—belong together,” SmugMug says.

So, what are the changes to Flickr?

2.  Can I still have a free account on Flickr?

Yes you can is the short answer.  The main difference is that you can now only have up to 1000 photographs and/or videos stored in it.  Quantifying the maximum like this is way easier than the previous (and still often used elsewhere) method of stating a storage max by the total file size of any number of images (ie 1GB).

NB. If this effects you – you have until January 8th 2019 to download so you are below that limit, or to upgrade of course (they are offering this at 30% OFF in your first year).

3. What about Flickr Pro?

This is coming in at between £3.20 and £4.60 a month depending on which payment plan you pick.

It is fully kicking off in January 2019, but there are some great benefits, including unlimited storage, ad-free, advanced statistics, and backup via the desktop Auto-Uploadr.  There are also some exclusive discounts from Adobe (their Creative Suite), Blurb, SmugMug, and Priime.

From January you will also be able to play back video up to 10 minutes long – a huge jump from the current 3 minute restriction (and looks to be a Pro account benefit only).

4. Can I still access free photographs on Flickr?

Yes – this has not changed.  How you access them correctly is all to do with The Commons.  Nope, not that weird old place in London.  This is Commons licensing:

Flickr Commons

These photographs are what have been uploaded by a number of organisations such as The National Archives, The British Library, a whole range of not-for-profits, NASA and UNICEF.  These institutions upload to Flickr so that others can use their collections – for example, they could be over 100 years old and therefore not covered by copyright laws anymore.  

An image of the cosmos from NASA taken from Flickr
Dark Gamma Ray Burst Illustration from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr
Some Rights Reserved

PLEASE do still read the Rights Statement for any organisation’s image or the Copyright Statement on any given image before you just go ahead and use it to check if it is ok and how to use it for what you intend.

Creative Commons

These photographs have been generously shared by the photographers themselves.  It is a brilliant system that celebrates the creativity we can all share in our photography.  A photographer can choose which license they wish to allow you to have if you use their photo and they retain the copyright (ie ownership) of it.

Click the links below to download free Vervate leaflet about copyright:


..and Creative Commons:


So there you have it.  Welcome back Flickr, I hope we can pick up where we left off and I don’t need to dump you again!  Do you use Flickr for your photography needs – to share or to dip into?  Do you welcome these changes?

If you fancy a workshop about copyright, Susi is your girl.  It is a fun, interactive session that leaves you in full control of how and where you can source your images.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.