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The new Flickr

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May. 25th, 2013 | 01:32 pm

As you may know, Flickr recently rolled out some substantial changes, not only radically altering the site's look and feel but also introducing a new set of account types, with various limits lifted and restrictions changed.

I'm not gonna comment on the new look and feel yet, but since I've got a grandfathered Pro account, I'm thinking about whether I should get rid of it.

In the past, a Pro account netted you various perks — not just a lack of ads but also the ability to make original images available, have more than the 200 most recent items in your photostream visible, and so on. Several of these have been folded into free accounts now; the only remaining differences between grandfathered Pro accounts and the new free accounts are ad-free browsing, unlimited storage (instead of 1 TB), and the ability to see photo statistics.

Saintseminole has a good overview of the various account types. And here's Flickr's own FAQ.

I could retain my current Pro account and keep on paying for it until Yahoo decides they're not bound by the agreement anymore (I'm sure there's some weasel words somewhere allowing them to do that). Alternatively, I could switch to a free account and get a refund now. Since the 200 photo limit, "no original size" restriction etc. were the main reasons I went Pro to begin with, I'm leaning towards this — otherwise I'd keep on paying for a few extra perks I don't really need. Unlimited storage is nice, but 1 TB is still a lot (at 10 MB/photo, I'd still be able to upload ~100,000 items), and while photo statistics are nice to have, am I really willing to pay 25 USD per year for them?

But OTOH, I'd lose those perks for good with absolutely no way to get them back (Pro accounts are not available anymore to those who don't have grandfathered ones). And if I wanted to move away from a free account again after all – say, because they introduced some extra features for the paid account levels – then barring the introduction of a new, lower-priced level1, I'd pay at least twice as much.

Thoughts? I have three months (until August 20) to decide. (I can still let my Pro account run out after that, but as I understand it, I won't be eligible for refund anymore.)

  1. This seems very unlikely, given that the only thing setting the 50 USD/year "ad-free" account apart is exactly what it says on the tin: it's ad-free. Adding more perks to create a new account level would make the price go up, not down, or so I'd expect.

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Comments {11}

The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit

(no subject)

from: porsupah
date: May. 25th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
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The stats are an odd point, really - with so much of the Pro rolled out to the new free accounts, why not stats too? Which, as far as I can see, aren't available to any new accounts at all. Quite odd!

I suspect I'll retain Pro. I renew in September, as I recall, and.. well, $45 isn't so much for two years of a service I'm very likely to get a lot more use from.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: May. 25th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
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The bit about stat's a bit odd indeed. But maybe it's an expensive (in terms of DB use etc.) operation for them; and if stats are not being used a lot, it simply may not be worth the trade-off.

Or maybe it's giving users the kind of data that Yahoo'd rather sell to their business partners. (As usual, you're likely the product, not the customer; and deplorably, that's probably true even if you're a paying user.)

Yeah, 45 USD for two years isn't so much. But OTOH, if you're not getting anything you want or need for that money, if a free account does all you want, why keep paying?

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iloveplushies67

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from: iloveplushies67
date: May. 26th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
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As for the stats I think they want to keep the high traffic attractors in the dark (if any are gonna be left after the re-design) for exactly the reason you mentioned (so they can sell the #'s to the advertisers)

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: May. 26th, 2013 10:28 am (UTC)
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It could be, but you can still see the number of views on a photo, so if you're giving them a lot of traffic, you'd still know it.

What you're losing access to now is further details, such as the daily breakdowns for the last month, referrer stats, search terms etc. I'm still a bit puzzled by that, too; I could see why they only offered it to paying users (to entice people to pay), but removing it altogether now doesn't make much sense.

OTOH, it seems that they're moving away from "pay for extra features" to "pay so we won't show you ads" (with an addition level of "pay extra big time for extra space").

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: May. 26th, 2013 10:32 am (UTC)
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My first reaction was less than thrilled as well, but I've learned to withhold judgement — it's been my experience that anything that's new and unfamiliar tends to grate at first, but sometimes it's actually a genuine improvement that'll grow on you. We'll see whether the new Flickr (or parts of it, anyway) are like that.

For now, you can still get something fairly close to the old photostream layout by appending ?details=1 to a photostream URL, e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/digeri/?details=1. Unfortunately it doesn't work with photo pages.

I'm wondering what sort of devices they're targetting right now, thoughh. Are they even optimizing for desktop PCs anymore, or are tablets etc. their primary concern nowadays?

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(Deleted comment)

Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: Jul. 6th, 2013 10:09 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm still not happy with it, either. Oh, and there's a Yahoo toolbar now? Urgh, yes; I can see what you mean. It just doesn't feel like Flickr anymore, does it.

I'm still torn whether I should keep my Pro account or not. I think I will for now, and see if I continue using the site and how much. It's not as if I can't still cancel it later on if I want to — the only thing I'll lose is the ability to get a refund.

But we'll see.

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Lil' Pink Coupe

(no subject)

from: crow_lover
date: May. 27th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
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I didn't like the changes that had been made to Flickr at first, but after a while, once I got the hang of the "new" Flickr, I got used to them...I think I'll probably be keeping my Pro account.

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: May. 27th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
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OK. I'm curious — what's convinced you to do that?

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Lil' Pink Coupe

(no subject)

from: crow_lover
date: May. 31st, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
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Hi - sorry it's taken me a couple days to get back to this, but I think what convinced me to stick with my Pro account is that once I got used to the changes made, I decided that they were manageable. I kind of like how you can set a kind of "header" for the top of your photostream, and how you can make your avatar bigger. :) However, I do wish that Flickr had given us some kind of warning first (if they did, I didn't see it anywhere) and I preferred the original format of viewing one's contacts' recent uploads rather than the sort of "collage" format that there is now.

Edited at 2013-05-31 08:14 pm (UTC)

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Schneelocke

(no subject)

from: schnee
date: May. 31st, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
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No, there was no warning of any kind; must've been a deliberate decision, perhaps to keep competitors in the dark until the big switch.

And thanks for the input. :)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: May. 31st, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
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OK, thanks for the reply. :)

If you don't mind me asking, what sort of device do you usually use Flickr on? I'm wondering if the new layout may simply be optimized for tablets and other portrait devices, rather than PC monitors and other landscape devices, as was traditional.

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