After years of drifting along and not really changing very much at all, Flickr has just woken up, muttered about damn kids like 500px on its metaphorical lawn, taken a cold shower and sorted itself out.
Up until now, you had a choice of a free account, with rather tight limits on use (no more than 200 images in your photostream, for instance) or a Pro account (around $25 a year) with no such limits. Free account holders who don’t know about AdBlock also see adverts. I’ve had a paid account for a long time now, though I don’t spend as much time there as I used to.
But this morning, I woke to a friendly email from Flickr which announced that they’ve made some changes. From now, free accounts are limited (hah!) to a measly one terabyte of storage, which is room for, err, lots of images. Lots and lots and lots, in fact. Photographs can now be displayed in full resolution, and the default view on the home page and in photostreams is to show much larger versions of images rather than those dinky little thumbnails.
Pro accounts still get unlimited storage, though I think for most people, the distinction between “unlimited” and “one terabyte” isn’t going to be significant. The only real benefit remaining for the Pro subscription is not seeing adverts on the site. Pro users also get detailed statistics showing how many people are looking at their images, but I can’t remember the last time I even glanced at that, so I could live without that.
Until now, it was looking like Flickr was going to quietly fade away into irrelevance, but this might change things. It’ll certainly stimulate sites like 500px to keep things interesting, anyway, and that’s definitely a Good Thing.
I do believe I’ll be uploading some photographs…