The Flickr Revival Is On!

As I’ve spoken about a number of times before, I’ve been a Flickr user since 2009, and greatly appreciate and enjoy its features. 

My favourites include –

  • The ability to use tags and albums to easily organise your photos.
  • Unlimited storage for Pro users, which I’ve used from early on, and means I’ve been using it as an online back up for my hard drive(s) for a decade.
  • Convenient instant creation of multiple photo sizes from your full size upload, from tiny thumbnail (rectangle or square) up to original size.
  • Ease of posting photographs within WordPress posts – I use the 1024px image Flickr creates.
  • The way it simply displays photos better than anything else I’ve used – Excellent on my MacBook, especially with the “Lightbox” mode (just press L to switch on/off), even better with the iPad app where photos fill the entire screen uninterrupted by any text, icons etc. It is truly an image focused site/app. (I still don’t get how people can be happy viewing photos on Instagram on tiny little phone screens).
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How Flickr looks in Lightbox view on my laptop 
  • A rich resource for tips on specific cameras, techniques and processes (though many of the groups have been inactive for a few years).
  • Plenty of space for comments, and a logical response system where it’s clear who you’re replying to. Essentially I used Flickr as a photography blog for years before I started 35hunter in 2015.
  • No ads whatsoever, and generally no annoying likes, emojis and other pointless gimmicks that ruin sites like Instagram. Again it focuses purely on the images and the interaction between the people who made them.
  • Excellent search facilities, how it displays the results – images of your own, those you follow, and everyone on Flickr, and how you can also sort by date taken, date uploaded, most relevant and most “interesting”, ie Flickrspeak for most popular.
  • Ability to search by specific (digital) camera and see images made only by a model at a time.
  • Ease of making one or more photos private, so you can maintain a public portfolio for followers, and use Flickr as an archive for all of your images, simultaneously with a single account.

34953160793_542cb9b36b_b

There’s been much talk about Flickr’s recent acquisition by SmugMug, more of it negative than positive, essentially around the fact that you can only store 1000 photos free, then you have to subscribe.

For me a Flickr Pro subscription is still well worth it.

A pro account gives you unlimited storage at whatever resolution you want, as well as all the features above. For what works out to 76 pence a week.

So I was really excited to see Jim’s post this week about his commitment to Flickr.

And even more excited to see the enthusiasm in the comments section by Flickr diehards still happily using Flickr, and others trying it out after being disillusioned by Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/delete as applicable, with their ads, superficial interaction, increasingly questionable privacy and personal data use policies, and basic premise that you and your preferences are a commodity to sell.

So it feels like, in a small way, there’s something of a Flickr revival, as well as a growing backlash against social media that so many of us have talked about here on 35hunter, on Jim’s blog and other places you and I hang out online.

The Flickr revival is on, then. Will you join us? 

Let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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33 thoughts on “The Flickr Revival Is On!”

  1. In my opinion, Flickr is the only decent online photo sharing portfolio there is. And you pretty well outlined my own feelings on the matter in this post. I’m in complete agreement with you about Instagram. I don’t understand why it’s become so popular as I think it’s simply awful. I avoid it entirely. When I am searching for examples of a certain film stock, or the results from a particular camera/lens, I want to be able to view those images at 100% (even on a phone), not some atrociously scaled down version that in no way allows me to adequately evaluate the image, from either a technical or artistic standpoint. I know you and Jim never moved away from Flickr, but my hope is that your guys’ posts will encourage others to either return to it, or start using it for the first time.

    1. P, yes we are much in agreement here.

      And yes I thought I’d try to add to the momentum Jim has on his post about Flickr, and encourage more to use it!

  2. Dan, I’m afraid I don’t share your enthusiasm. Last year I rejoined Flickr, after a few years of pro membership more than a decade ago. However, I soon discovered that all my former contacts had left Flickr or had not posted one single photo for more than 4 years (most likely moved to IG).

    And it was very difficult to find other, like-minded photographers on Flickr. Most groups are unmoderated dump places with little or no interaction, while “Explore” shows mostly uninteresting cliché photos. And tags might be a good tool for organizing your own photos, it’s not really helpful for finding other people.
    I hated almost everything about Instragram, but the social aspect is much better there. People tag really carefully and their Explore version shows you photos matching your own work and your “likes”. So you easily find a circle of like-minded photographers.

    After being pretty active on Flickr for almost six months, I had only found a handful of people to follow and I had two dozen followers myself. And the same two or three people who posted a “obligatory” comment on my photos. And experimental stuff never received any feedback, as the taste on Flickr is quite conservative.
    So when SmugMug came up with the limit for free users, I deleted my account. I have a limited budget and I have to set priorities. And online presence is not one of them.

    1. Thanks for your in depth thoughts Robert.

      I recall you saying in a previous post I think that you have withdrawn almost entirely online too?

      I can’t disagree with you about Flickr, and I think because I use it for different things (mostly to catalogue and organise my own photos and be able to embed them in this blog easily) and not really for any “social media” reasons, it doesn’t matter much.

      It would be good to see more interaction, and more relevance, and it did have that a few years back.

      Instagram might have the social side, but, I don’t know, there are just too many downsides and flaws to make it worth another look, for me.

      1. You are right, I left all major platforms (Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, WordPress). Kind of inspired by Eric Kim who questioned on his blog what kind of photos (if any) you would take when there was no online sharing and therefore you photographed purely for yourself. I think I now take 10 to 20% of the number of photos compared to last year. So a significant change, and a shift from “content creator” (filling feeds) back to photo maker. I only post on my VSCO Grid now and then, as I’m using the app for post-processing and publishing is just one extra push on a button.

      2. This is similar to how I’ve felt in the past when I’ve been “testing” cameras and lenses and making photos just to prove that they work and are capable of decent images. Rather than using the kit I really love to make the images I really wanted to.

  3. I gotta echo the earlier comment that IG’s social aspect is so much better than Flickr’s. But you can’t touch Flickr for depth and breadth, and you also can’t get the image sizes on IG that you can on Flickr.

    1. Jim, not sure what you mean by “depth and breadth” – apparently something I missed during last year’s comeback. I do get that it is useful for bloggers to be able to embed photos in different sizes. But what does Flickr offer for non-bloggers, for the rest of us? It fails as a social network, there are better alternatives for backup (I have been using Dropbox for years and still not even half of my free account space is filled), and as an online portfolio Flickr is too buggy and not intuitive enough. So I really don’t see how Flickr can become relevant again.

      1. By depth and breadth I meant the kinds of subjects shared. Flickr has always been a photography site while Instagram is really more a “what I’m doing” sharing site that some of us use to share photography.

        I don’t know what “relevant” means when it comes to Internet services anymore. If Flickr can sustain itself on subscriptions and rebuild some sort of community there then I think they’ve won.

    2. Yes Jim, image size is a big thing that’s lacking on IG. I saw you wrote somewhere else about it being like flicking through postage stamps or something similar. That’s not how I wish to experience other people’s photographs, or them experience mine!

      1. I‘m using 500px besides Flickr, but Flickr is the main site. We’ll see how it goes on as the Chinese bought the Canadian Company last year.

    1. We are waiting for you! 🙂
      You returned last year and deleted after a short while.
      Nothing has changed since than.
      Why would you come back?

      1. I’ve Been tempted by Dan and Jim’s reviews..

        Just tried It and uploaded a dozen pics… Lots of work to Tag and organize everything.

        And the phone app stubornly keeps asking for my login EVERY TIME I open It. That’s crappy.

        Though the photo display Is beautiful.

        Probably won’t keep that Flickr thing though. Looks too much like social network to me. Don’t like that.

        You are right, Pavel, nothing changed since last year!

      2. I found your profile. Nice set of photos. As long as it has stats counter “faves, views, comments” it is same as other places. I am seriously considering to stop for good…

      3. Frank, my Flickr app on phone (Android) and iPad (iOS) stay logged in. Maybe it’s a setting somewhere within the app or elsewhere on your phone that’s not saving the login/password?

  4. Flick is no way in revival. Flickr goes down in long term. Flickr is social media. (as Facebook, Instagram etc).I use it, but sadly.

  5. I see a lot of people talking about the superiority of the “social networking” aspects of one platform over another (not just here, but many other places as well), and how it drives them to/from various ones. Flickr, Instagram, et al. may have “social networking” aspects to them, but frankly I could care less about that, and I don’t really understand why anyone else would either. All I want to do is look at and study people’s photographs, specifically examples of different film stocks I’m interested in and the technique in which they were developed. And while it’s certainly not perfect, the only platform that allows me to do that in any reasonable way is Flickr. “Social networking” is simply a waste of a person’s life in my view, and obviously others of you on here agree with me based on your comments. But just because that may be part of what Flickr is doesn’t mean one has to engage with it at all. If it forced me to do so I would leave it behind for good, without hesitation. I have never once left a comment, “liked” or “faved” anything (or whatever it’s called on Flickr), or in any other way used the “social” aspects of Flickr or any other photo sharing platform. Isn’t the point of these places to share, store, and view photos? If I want to have a meaningful online discussion with others about photographic technique, or anything else for that matter, I’ll go to a blog written by someone who’s clearly interested in doing so, or a dedicated forum where people are willing to have a real conversation and where it can be done effectively. Honestly, why does anyone care about how many views, likes, faves, generic one sentence (or not even) comments, etcetera they receive from total strangers? And if they’re not strangers then why not just call them up and have a real conversation? The entirety of the “social networking” scene that has taken over the internet today is ridiculous. Simply put, it’s not the real world and has very little, if any, value. I find it truly disturbing the amount of time people waste on it. It’s illogical. The internet is a great tool that can be used to have conversations with other people about their hobbies and interests and ultimately to learn new things, especially if it’s niche and there aren’t others in a person’s local community with the same hobbies/interests, but “social networking” sites are not at all reasonable places to do that; they never have been, and they’ve only gotten worse over time.

    1. P, well, I could have written nearly all of that myself!

      I do feel in the great minority sometimes at not “getting” social media. I use Flickr to save and show my own photos, and to search for and find other people’s at a pleasing size. When I want conversation I have my blog here and a handful of others which I try to support and regularly comment on.

      Seth Godin’s recent post seems very apt, where he ended – “If you spend your whole day browsing, then what happens?”. I interpreted this as what if you’re always skimming the surface with the likes of Twitter and Instagram and Facebook with likes and emojis, and never go any deeper – viewing an image at full screen, and for more than half a second, or conversing on a blog with comments that take more than a dozen finger taps to respond to, and take longer than a second to read – then what do you become? It all seems so pointless.

      I inadvertently clicked on a link the other day below the Google search bar on my laptop, and it went to a trash tabloid newspaper’s site. The gist of the front page article was how “Twitter” had reacted to a tv show. In essence, one brief scene of a show seemed to prompt a slightly offended/bemused comment from all of about three of the two billion people on Twitter (and no-one of any significance) and this was made into a full blow article. So social media is feeding itself and becoming ever more pointless and mindless.

  6. social media, including Flickr is shit, but you ask why someone care about views? you know, you make an exhibition, it cost money (printing, framing) and energy, and what is result? a couple of people comes and sees your photos. now you have these damn social platforms – and – you wanna share your stuff – and in one day your photos sees more people than in one month of real exhibition in gallery. so it has sense.
    anyway, i like to exhibit in real world.

    1. Pavel, I guess it depends how much the feedback means to you, in its different forms. “Likes” mean next to nothing to me, but if someone takes the time to leave a comment that’s taken some though, I really appreciate it.

      1. I know, you wrote on your blog about your annoyance that you can’t switch them off in WP Reader, which I totally share!

        I was just saying we have to think about what feedback we want, what we consider worthwhile, and what doesn’t hold any currency for us.

        A meaningful comment (in person, or online) for me holds much greater weight that any number of likes. I imagine you feel much the same.

      2. yes, but…there are cases i am pleased when i receive a like…lets say if you get it from someone you admire…

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