Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rants: Flickr Makes Huge Changes

You're in for a rant if you are visiting this post. I'm sure this rant won't change a thing, but alas I will rant away.

I have been a Flickr user for quite some time. I found it was the best place to host my photos for photography. When my career in sports photography began I created a new Flickr account and paid to make it a Pro Account. I had unlimited upload/space and receive photo statistics. Having photo statistics is huge for a photographer in my field. I can track what is popular, and it gives me an idea of what people are interested in seeing. I've never had a problem with Flickr and have absolutely loved the time I've spent on the site and was more that willing to pay for the service. I mean after all this is my online photography portfolio.

Today without warning Flickr unveiled a new site design. My opinion, it's terrible. It has made navigation harder. Your homepage has become relatively useless. The photostream has become cluttered, busy and unprofessional. The lack of white space drives me insane. And the functionality that once was is no longer there.They have seemingly pulled design idea's from various social media sites and lumped them all together. That's not what Flickr was suppose to be. It feels like a huge slap in the face to real photographers! I guess Yahoo/Flickr want to capitalize on that "Insta" market. Insta this and insta that isn't always better. And this is certainly not what the Flickr platform was originally founded on.

Edited to Add:
“There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore.”-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. 
Surprise Ms. Mayer there is still a difference between a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER and someone who can hold a camera and take a picture! Photography is an art and not everyone possesses the eye, skill, or knowledge to do it. People hold degrees in the field. As a professional photographer I'm absolutely disgusted and offended by your statement.

My bigger issue is that they didn't take into account how their PAYING Pro users would feel. Turns out the changes weren't just on the surface. Flickr quietly took away the option of upgrading to a Pro Account. If you currently have a Pro Account and it is on renewal you will keep all the perks of said Pro Account (Stats, Unlimited upload/space, no ads, no price change.) You will not be classified as a Pro Account any longer however. Free accounts will now have 1 TB of space and some similar Pro Account perks. Now the only upgrade options available to free accounts are paying $50 to be rid of ads, or $499.99 to bump up to 2 TB. You read that right FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS! That's laughable. A TB external hard drive doesn't even cost anywhere near that much.
(Here is a link that gives you the break down on what's happening: http://mashable.com/2013/05/20/flickr-pro-changes/)

Now that I've given you my reasons for disliking this change as well as facts I'm going to say something crazy. I'm keeping my Pro Account. Why? Because I'm grandfathered in so to speak. I will still have unlimited uploads and space as well as what is very important my photo statistics! I don't care if my upload has to be smaller than those with a free account. Why? One because generally my files do not exceed 50 MB, two the larger the file size the better quality you could potentially be giving someone to steal. So yes, I will keep my Pro Account at this time.

I can only hope that Flickr/Yahoo listen to the wave of negative feedback they are receiving by alienating their original customer base, and make necessary changes for the good of the users. Change is not bad, but the kind of changes they made were poorly executed.

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