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Flickr Pro Resurrects, Google+ Photos Is Murdered, & 500px Collects Millions

By Kishore Sawh on July 23rd 2015

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Time is the ultimate equalizer. Or is that death? Nonetheless, one of the issues we as photographers have to deal with, especially in this digital age, is the issue of continuity. In particular what I’m getting at, is investing money or time, or both, into systems that may not be around for very long.

One of the big draws of going with a camera manufacturer like the Canons or Nikons of the world, is that you can be quite sure that they’ll be around tomorrow, and for several years or decades worth of tomorrows to come. That means your lenses and such will likely work to an extent and so forth for ages. Possibly less costly but more frustrating is this business of online photo storage and display, because new tantalizing options seem to spring from nowhere, and then they vanish, leaving you with lots of time invested in something that is no more. Then like a weed, another comes up, and the cycle starts again. But you can’t ignore them because these services are vital marketing and business tools.

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Remember Flickr? I say that in some jest, but they were sort of the cat’s pajamas for a while, and if you were a photographer, you had a Pro account. Then, all these other platforms arose giving away more for free, like Google+ Photos, and Facebook enhanced their image options. Then Flickr murdered Flickr Pro to level the field. But, many of us still wanted more from Flickr given we’d spent so much time building it up, but just had to look elsewhere. Well now Pro is back, and it comes off the heels of a few other interesting announcements.

First, Flickr Pro will again be completely ad-free on desktop and mobile platforms. It will allegedly offer deeper reaching analytics that are not only more informative but easier to navigate and make sense of. With membership you’ll get a 20% discount on Adobe Creative Cloud if you’re an annual subscriber, and, perhaps most importantly, there’s an all new ‘Pro’ badge that will ensure everyone knows what a big camera you’ve got.

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How much will it cost for all this? $5.99 a month or $49.99 annually. If you’re one of the few remaining Flickr Aristocracy with an ad-free account, your account will be brought into the new Pro account automatically with no limitation on space or price. However, I’ve read the fine print, and that is only for 2 years, after which you’ll be expected to pay whatever the current price is then.

Thoughts & Suggestion

Here’s the thing, if you’ve got a good thing going on Flickr then you’ll be pleased with this, but it would appear to me that the removal of ads is the primary feature you’re paying for. Also, I’m not one to forget that Flickr parent company Yahoo’s CEO suggested, not long ago, that there was little need for pro photographers anymore.

[REWIND: 3 Reasons Why Photographers Should Use Cloud Spot]

Interestingly, this announcement comes off the heels of some other news, that Google’s Google+ Photos is headed for a short drop and a sudden stop – it’ll be killed off come August 1st. Your current photos won’t vanish, but you’re encouraged to move them and do it using Google Takeout. This is probably good news for Flickr, but I’d hold off jumping onto Flickr just yet, because 500px just raised yet another $13 million greenbacks in venture capital to see it further nurture its business of image sharing and licensing.

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What this says to me, is that while Flickr is trying to correct course and get back in the game, 500px has been making all the right moves. Already I find the interface and experience of 500px superior to Flickr, and of the two, I know vastly more professional and serious amateurs on 500px actively engaging than on Flickr. So, if it were my money, and more importantly my time, I would ignore the fanfare than may be surrounding Flickr Pro in the current days, and focus more on building a presence on 500px, because in a decade they’ve been unwavering really, and that stands for something.

*Amendment: It’s only Google+ Photos being scrubbed. Cheers Len Currie

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tom Blair

    Good info.Learn alot I did not know.

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  2. Stephen Jennings

    I prefer 500px, I just wish they’d disable batch uploading, or at least limit the pool so that it doesn’t get flooded with some jerks truckload of crappy photos. I don’t think it’s really known in the stock photo world though, it’s not a place buyers zero in on.

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  3. Paddy McDougall

    I have rightly or wrongly had a pro account for eight years. Why do I stay with it?

    1. I really learned a lot from putting my photography out there. Eventually to please myself rather than try and earn sparkly awards.
    2. I have had sales and commissions off the back of it
    3. I have actually met lots of people in real life from it
    4. It has been an easy way to store images
    5. Like many I have invested a lot of time in it

    Will I stay? Not sure, probably, I am a creature of habit and hate adverts and it costs less than a coffee a day.

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  4. Len Currie

    Yes best to edit this thread as google photos isn’t going anywhere.. Google + Photos is migrating to Google Photos.. you don’t even have to use Takeout or anything.. best to report the right stuff.. Google Photos is fantastic BTW for personal photos with it’s unlimited storage including video and crazy recognition software.. Love it.

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  5. Kristian Hollund

    Very misleading post. Google+ Photos is being discontinued, not Google Photos (photos.google.com) which is the newer Google Drive integrated service.

    “Google announced that Google+ Photos will no longer be available in a few weeks, so everyone will have to switch to Google Photos. “In an effort to ensure everyone has the best photos experience we can deliver, on August 1st we’ll start to shut down Google+ Photos – initially on Android, and soon thereafter on the Web and iOS.” Google has recently discontinued the Google+ Photos app for Chrome.”

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    • Kristian Hollund

      To clarify even more, Google+ Photos is the service that has been on Android, iOS and web and was similar but had more features than the current Google Photos has. So they are just moving it all into the new better designed experience that is Google Photos.

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    • Kristian Hollund

      Kind of hard to compete with Google Photos when it lets you upload your RAW files, with 1TB storage for $10 a month. I’m sure they will expand on functionality too.

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  6. Jean-Philippe Thierry

    Google Photos stopped, where is this news published? As admin of some Google Apps domain I am asked to activate the service for people to be able to send photos in Hangout

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  7. Andre Queree

    It’s not exactly encouraging anyone to use these sites, is it? Sounds like you’re better off doing your own rather than placing your images at the whims of other businesses.

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