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News & Insight

Flickr Is Free – For Three Months

By Lauri L. on December 22nd 2012

Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, just made Flickr free — for three months, anyway.

The photo-sharing site is now making its unlimited Pro service, which is normally a paid subscription running $25 a year, free for three months. And all existing subscribers get an extra three months for free. The practical effect of that is that Flickr users, especially new ones turned off by Instagram’s ever-changing terms of service, and attracted by Flickr’s new iPhone app, don’t have to worry about the crazy, nearly decade-old limits on photo sharing that have crippled the service (at the moment free Flickr users are limited to seeing only the most recent 200 photos they’ve posted).

Flickr has been “frozen” and “old-fashioned” for a while now, but  this is it’s chance to make a big leap.

So from here we can see two things happening:

  • Yahoo sticks with the freemium business model, using the three-month free trial to lure a bunch of users to Flickr and convert at least some of them to Pro subscriptions, this way boosting their revenues.OR
  • Yahoo uses the three-month period to test how much it really costs to offer Flickr completely for free, and either eliminates the Pro fee altogether or substantially lifts the limits on free users after March. The result: A service which can handle the higher-resolution photos produced by the latest generation of smartphones, and which is far better designed for displaying large, gorgeous photos and sharing them all over the Web, not just on cramped phone screens.

This is going to be interesting. Could we be seeing a revival on Flickr in the near future?

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Lauri Laukkanen is one of the youngest established advertising photographers in Finland. At the ripe age of 21 he has already been working with some of the biggest commercial clients and his photos have been featured in the media, all around the world. Check out his portfolio here.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Anthony Thurston

    I think that this is great news for flickr users, as well as for anyone who hosts their images online. Flickr has long been one of the best, or at least most consistent image hosting sites on the web. When Yahoo bought it they sort of messed things up, and a lot of the users left. This is a great step in the right direction, and towards getting users back. One thing I will say though, is I think that they could benefit from adding some sort of portfolio view similar to 500px, some way for professionals to display their work in a more pleasing way than the default flickr photostream.  

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  2. guest

    But, but…it’s still so boring and ugly. In terms of displaying images, flickr is so … utilitarian. Until this article, I hadn’t checked my flickr account in over a year. Just went over to check it out now. And it’s exactly the same! I’m sorry, maybe it’s me, but … what have they been doing all this time??! Is it just because we’re conditioned now for constant redesigns/iterations…?

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    • scutrnikki

       I think this will be more geared towards getting new mobile users. They just re-vamped the mobile app entirely and because of the recent Instagram debacle it’s a way for them to gain new users :)

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    • Al Mansur


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