Flickr agrees to be acquired by SmugMug

Indeed. And they’re ever so anxious for everyone to hear about it.

They emailed eight times to tell me:

Don’t worry, they say:

SmugMug has a long history of empowering people who love photography and who want to improve their craft, making them a perfect fit for Flickr and our creative community. With SmugMug, we’ll continue to focus on you, the Flickr members who inspire us all with your work.

I like being focussed on.

Nothing will change immediately with regard to your Flickr account. You will still access Flickr with your current login credentials and you will have the same Flickr experience as you do now. We will continue to work to make your Flickr experience even better.

It all sounds great, but there is one fly in the metaphorical ointment – it’s this line:

We think you are going to love Flickr under SmugMug ownership, but you can choose to not have your Flickr account and data transferred to SmugMug until May 25, 2018. If you want to keep your Flickr account and data from being transferred, you must go to your Flickr account to download the photos and videos you want to keep, then delete your account from your Account Settings by May 25, 2018.

So it’s your prerogative, as it should be. But there’s no mention of what happens if you have just paid $50 for a year’s worth of Flickr Pro before this unsolicited change was made. And good luck with being able to download up to one terabyte of photos and videos in 1 month if you live (or happen to be visiting) somewhere with expensive internet (like South Africa) or slow internet (like… er… South Africa) or dodgy internet (like… well, look, you get the picture).

If you do not delete your account by May 25, 2018, your Flickr account and data will transfer to SmugMug and will be governed by SmugMug’s Terms and Privacy Policy.

I haven’t read SmugMug’s Terms and Privacy Policy, but then I’ve been a Flickr user for over 10 years and I don’t think I’ve ever read theirs either. I make the assumption that someone in the know out there is also a member and would have alerted me if I was about to sign over my first born.

No-one likes change, but the internet dislikes it more than most: remember how poor the response was to the big Flickr update back in 2013? I haven’t seen any feedback on this announcement yet, but I’ll be watching with interest.

Flickr has never been the most revolutionary of of websites, but what it does (sharing photos), it’s been doing just fine. From that point of view, I really hope that SmugMug don’t change it too much.

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