November 3, 2018

The death of Flickr?

Since Flickr (the online photo sharing service) was purchased by SmugMug, a lot of people have wondered what the new ownership would do with its new shiny toy. Well yesterday, the other shoe dropped and here's what Flickr users are now being greeted with:

While 1,000 free photos sounds like a lot, the longtime integration between Second Life and Flickr (with Linden Lab having an official presence on Flickr) means that it really isn't. Many Second Life users have Flickr accounts with TENS of thousands of photos. Per Flickr, come February 2019, anyone OVER the 1000 photo limit who does not upgrade to Flickr Pro at $50/year, will have their photos deleted. It's not clear from Flickr's blog how they'll determine which photos get ditched.

Another worry is that a LOT of work available through Creative Commons is hosted under free accounts at Flickr. It's not clear what will happen to that content although Creative Commons is said to be working with Flickr on solutions.

Second Life users have long had another outlet for photo sharing called Snapzilla. It's a sister site to the virtual worlds online forum site, (previously I reached out to the owner/developer of both, Cristiano (aka Cristiano Midnight) who had these observations:
"I have been following what's going on with Flickr - there's an active thread here ( about it. While I think their 1000 image limit is still fairly generous, SL Flickr users are definitely looking for alternatives. Snapzilla has always been focused on SL (though I'm expanding it right now to include other worlds including sinespace, Sansar and OpenSim grids), so it's a good fit for SL bloggers and photographers. It already has 13 years of SL history on it. 
I just recently moved Snapzilla to new hosting and split the actual image hosting off from the main site to make it more manageable and scalable (web hosting can be expensive, while image storage is fairly cheap). Transferring 600k images was a challenge, but it all worked out well. 
I think there may be an influx of some new users to Snapzilla from Flickr - I'm not concerned about the impact really. The site could handle it if they do decide to switch, even if it is a large volume of new users."
I'm am personally not someone who feels compelled to document every moment of my existence -- either in Second Life OR in real life. So it's hard for me to imagine accumulating tens of thousands of photos in the first place. But for those that do, I'm sure there's some very real angst involved. After all, Flickr did promise everyone a free terrabyte forever. Storage is cheap, user retention is harder. We'll see how it all shakes out.