Flickr found new ownership under Smugmug earlier this year, and inevitably, that comes with changes.
The image hosting service has made a big one: Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos from Jan. 8, 2019, a significant cut from the terabyte of storage that was previously offered to users.
If you’ve reached 1,000 photos, you won’t be able to upload any more. If you’re already over the limit, then Flickr will delete your files until you’ve reached the limit, starting with the oldest one. For those who want to keep their photos, a Pro account costs $50 a year.
Flickr has some seemingly honest reasons for the downsize, pointing squarely at the company’s Yahoo/Oath ownership.
In a blog post, it said the large amount of storage offered at the time was a mistake, with users attracted to the swathes of free space to dump their images.
“In 2013, Yahoo lost sight of what makes Flickr truly special and responded to a changing landscape in online photo sharing by giving every Flickr user a staggering terabyte of free storage,” the post read.
“This, and numerous related changes to the Flickr product during that time, had strongly negative consequences.”
The company said that the terabyte offering “caused a significant tonal shift in our platform,” turning the platform away from community interaction.
Flickr also stated that giving away the product for free would result in advertisers’ interests being prioritised, making the user the product. That, and it claims giving away free space sends a signal users that storage is not worth paying for.
The company said 97 percent of free users have 1,000 photos or fewer, so if you’re one of the minority, it’s probably time to start backing them up. In other news for Flickr users, you won’t need a Yahoo account to login to the service from January next year.