Should I just Flickr off?

As many of you will be aware by now, Flickr launched a new version of its photo sharing site last Monday. I knew this change was coming as I had been railroaded into a test version on both my accounts for a few weeks prior to the launch. To say the new version has not been met with enthusiasm is an understatement. As I write there have been over 23k posts on the thread for feedback in their help forum; some are furious, others annoyed, but most are disappointed. Gone is the ease of use. Your landing page, where your recent comments, faves, and notes were available, has changed. Now it is a cascading roll of images, mainly ones you commented or faved and these could be ones you have long forgotten. It is impossible to locate your own photographs. It is not customisable.

Your photostream is now a wall of images on black. Ya, you can edit it to get something close to the old version, but it is not the same. While I like it to view the streams of other photographers, I would like if textual information was available under the photos as it had been before. Very often I write accompanying text for my uploads. Now these are not visible unless you click on the image. And when you click on the image it brings you to an on-black view. All fine and dandy, but if you have a dark image, the image loses clarity.

Having two accounts I like to post in the first comment a small size image of the photo I am posting on the other account. It allows contacts to click through. Now with the new format for comments with so few actually showing, it means that when I go over a few comments those comments made at the start are not visible; rendering the link to the photo from my other account being hidden. In the past few days, this has meant views on my images on my iPhone account have dropped. And do not get me started on why we have to scroll down, away from viewing the image, to make our comments. It becomes a memory test. How difficult would it be to allow a sidebar, or a box directly under the photo to allow us write our comment as we look at the image? This is a suggestion I have made many times to Flickr; one I made when I was in the test version of the new version also. Did they listen? No!

The worst thing about all of this is that I have had emails from contacts, friends who have said they are leaving. Now, that is so sad. These are people who have given me so much. Photographers I have learnt so much from. I cannot imagine a Flickr without them. How hard would it be to create a customisable version for paying customers? Pros. We all paid our 25 bucks a year to have ad-free, unlimited uploads, and stats. But with the new policy of Flickr – it is all about volume. They want to attract those happy snappers who click click relentlessly and upload vast volumes. Users who will accept and consume the barrage of advertising that will go with their free accounts. We, who pay the 25 bucks will not see those ads, rendering us useless to them. What they gain from our subscription is chicken feed in comparison to the pots of gold they will gather from advertising.

As I write this blog post, Flickr has stopped. I cannot get it to load. I had uploaded my images for the day on both accounts but cannot get them to load now. The widget that showed my Flickr photos on the right of this blog post has stopped working too.

What to do? Change is always met with resistance. We are creatures of habit. What works well for us, we become comfortable with. Yes, there are good points to the new layout and design of Flickr, but there are many faults. It needs fine tuning. I hope that is what is happening in the background at Yahoo!, that they are taking on board the criticism and suggestions and working towards providing a platform for photographers to share images and also, even more importantly, to communicate and learn from each other. If they do, I will stick it out. On Monday, they said Pro accounts were to be abolished. On Tuesday they rolled back on that. I would like to think they will do something similar with the layout and design.

If not, what are the alternatives. I was on 500px, but it did not appeal to me. I disliked the dislike button, more than anything. Many contacts have already moved to It looks like old Flickr. Redbubble is another option. At least there you can view an image and see it at the same time. Instagram is just for fun. Here on the blog, I really should post more photos, but the interaction cannot be the same as a Flickr-type platform. What are your suggestions?

For now, I will flickr on. But if things do not improve I very well might just flickr off.



10 responses to “Should I just Flickr off?

  1. This is really disconcerting news!
    I am surprised that Flickr didn’t do a test run first before making the big switch, maybe they should have beta tested it longer?? I have been so disgusted with all the spam on IG that I had just stopped posting there very much and had thought I would post mostly on Flickr……
    Have you checked out Eye’em yet???
    I hope the issues get resolved with Flickr soon!!!!

    • Hey Cecily,
      On IG I stopped using # and I get no spam at all now. I hope Flickr will make some adjustments. I want to stay. Have not checked Eye’em – will do.
      Thanks for commenting. Hope you stay too.

  2. Amen to you!!!! You have said exactly what I would have said and I’m sure all the others. I only hope Flickr listens and responds.

  3. I agree with all your comments, Brendan; and with the overwhelmingly negative sentiment of those long-term Flickr users I know. And it is sad to think that there might be a diaspora from Flickr because compared to all the other sites I’ve spent time on (Redbubble, DeviantArt, Tumblr, Google+ and others) the photography I have found on Flickr has been far superior in quality, variety and volume (of quality). Of course, you have to disregard all the dross, some of which finds its way onto Explore rendering that particular aspect of Flickr quite pointless in my opinion. But once you’ve found someone whose work you like and added them to your contacts, the other 6,000,000 images uploaded that day don’t matter. I hope Flickr takes heed of its loyal followers, but if their priorities lie with revenue then we all might have to face the prospect of migrating to a different clime.

    • You know – Flickr is on its way to becoming a photo dump, but on the margins we can carve out a nice niche for those interested in sharing, learning and communicating.
      I will stick it out, as the alternatives do not appeal. Peole are flocking to ipernity but I think that is not the answer. It is a Flickr clone. Much like looking for someone who looks like the partner who ditched you, soon you realise it is not what you are looking for.
      I will stick it out.

  4. Hi Brendan
    Giovanni here, love your flickr stream, don’t leave
    yes, the all images layout is heavy as the ONLY option and the solution would be easy, give people an alternative non-tiled view closer to the old one
    But let’s be realistic, the old version was tired and frayed compared to the alternative services out there which were much cleaner-looking
    Even in an alternative, more text friendly, view, I still would want something closer to the new look of the thing
    When they introduced the tiled view for favorites and contacts, I was saying “why can’t I view my own stream this way?”, the old standard being too sequential and less inviting.
    But I fully agree, the new format is annoying in forcing all the scrolling away from the photo to see the textual portion, at least the author’s an the first comments should be immediately accessible…
    As for me, I’ll stay

    • Hi Giovanni,
      Like all things that change there is always a division; some good, some bad. I would like my homepage back and an option to view on white or black. I hate the infinite scrolling and tiled photos. People’s opinions will differ.
      I think I will stay, but may take a break from it.
      Thanks G.

  5. hey, good reading.
    i think… i think flickr home page is a nightmare. mainly that. the rest i dont care. i care about you, and the ones like you that have been with me for the last couple of years. some periods more active others less, that is life. i care about seeing amazing images, and i care about meeting amazing humans. the color of the background does not worry me at all. after all, im not a professional photographer and i do this just for the fun of it. i have accounts everywhere, and some sites are better than flickr but i will not make the effort to meet again such an amazing group of individuals. my life and what i care about is more than a bad web design.

  6. Well said, Brendan. It’s disheartening, to be sure. I expect I will remain, though, and hope that artists (like you) whose work inspires me will continue to post.

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