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Flikr Price Increase

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akmc_in_au
 
Posts: 914

Flikr Price Increase

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:23 pm


Remember how last month Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug and Flickr, rattled the tin for new subscribers for Flikr Pro?

I was less than surprised to see this come into my inbox today:

We’re writing to inform you that effective today, the price of Flickr Pro subscriptions has increased to:

1 month: $6.99, plus tax
3 month: $18.99, plus tax
1 year: $59.99, plus tax
2 year: $117.99, plus tax

To thank loyal Pro members for your continued support, we are offering all current Pros the opportunity to renew now at last year’s price. Click here to extend your subscription term now.

Why has the price changed?

Please see last month’s letter from Flickr's CEO and Chief Geek, Don MacAskill. In short: Flickr is a huge and extremely costly service to run. We intend to keep investing in making it even better, but it cannot continue to operate at a loss.

If I renew now, what happens to the remainder of my current subscription?

We will extend the term of your current Pro subscription. For example: if your current subscription expires in July 2020 and you choose to renew now, we will add an additional year to your subscription at the 2019 price, extending your subscription end date to July 2021.

Who is eligible to extend their subscriptions?

All current Flickr Pros are eligible. We are inviting monthly subscribers to lock in a one- or two-year term at the 2019 rate. Annual subscribers with a renewal date prior to July 1 are invited to add two years now. All others are invited to add a one- or two-year term.

All other questions

Please contact our Support Heroes with any other questions. Premium support is a key feature of your Flickr Pro membership and they will be happy to assist you. We appreciate your ongoing support as we continually work to improve Flickr for all of our members. Thank you for being a Pro.

The Flickr Team


I can't say that the price rise particularly bothers me; it's still fair value. Of course PBase offers even better value if you have a relatively normal quantity of photos, both in terms of price and control over how your photos are displayed. Not so much in terms of exposure, though; whenever I post a new gallery on PBase I'm lucky to push into triple digit views, on Flikr I get 5 digit views.

Support is also a different matter; at Flikr it's a constant, here it's whenever someone gets the enthusiasm bug for a couple of weeks.

It does concern me a little that they're bringing forward cashflow with this offer, though they may have calculated that ingraining pro members into the site for a longer period will be worth it. (If their membership expires in 2 years rather than 1 and they have a larger number of photos on display by then, they may be more inclined to re-sign.)

The other thing is that there is an ever-present possibility that PBase may vanish tomorrow while Flikr is unlikely to. Being Borged with SmugMug is a different question. I dread that day if it comes, but at least the photos will continue to be up. You can therefore regard the higher Flickr price as a "peace of mind" premium.

I know that I'd happily pay more for PBase... IF it meant that it switched to professional development, support and maintenance. But if wishes were horses and all that...

xf
 
Posts: 1

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:20 am


I have just left Flickr and come back to PBase. It makes no sense to pay that outrageous price for keeping a small gallery like mine and dealing with a sloppy interface like Flickr's. I prefer PBase. For me, it is as good --or better-- as it was in 2004.

madlights
 
Posts: 910

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:37 pm


I'm coming back. To get hits on Flickr you've got to be in a lot of groups, certain ones especially. Yes, there are some neat apps for viewing on portable devices (InFlickr for one), there are a number of good photographers, and some nice people. There are also some very self promotional groups and photographers there. PBase used to be about community, and it still seems more so than Flickr. Yahoo nearly wrecked Flickr when they owned it in my belief... I think that's what is biting so hard now that Flickr has cut down free accounts, advertises with full page ads about every 3rd or 4th click for non pros. A lot have left Flickr in protest, when it requires non pro and the public to view ads. Yeah there are ways to avoid by switching off the Beta mode, and using "show" after the group you're viewings "pool" entry in your browser, you will get a nice slideshow. But how long will the non beta switch last?
PBase has great customizable features, Flickr doesn't. You can put your photos in whatever order, whatever gallery here. You can make your gallery(s) look however you want with a little skill and or help. Yes support has been somewhat random here, but really Pbase does have many things going for it. Many. Thought I'd try the Flickr experiment for a while, and still will post a little there, but I'd never choose Smugmug over PBase, and seems that's the direction Flickr is headed. Don't want unlimited online storage, with it's problems and tenuous existence, Hard drives and DVD or Blue ray backups will work fine for me. I like a lot of the characcters still left on here, and maybe PBase hasn't changed with the times. Sometimes change can be like fads, rather than substance.

jypsee
 
Posts: 1240

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:11 pm


The only thing I like about the current Flickr is that it will render a video. The rest has gone to pieces. And the fact that I basically have two choices: cancel my subscription before the due date or get charged automatically is disgusting. Pro subscriptions are only auto pay..at least that’s how I’m reading it. I have until November to decide...I guess. The whole issue is a mess.
Canon: 7DII;6D;100-400 II;24-105L;16-35L;100USMISf/2.8;85f/1.8;50f/1.8;28f/1.8;20f/2.8;
Pentax: K10D and kit lens; 50f/1.4

madlights
 
Posts: 910

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:28 am


The ads every 3rd or 4th click (view) for non pro Flickr members (and the public) are kind of sickening. I've criticized Pbase for lack of attention and support...but it seems to me Pbase was created for the love of Photography, rather than the love of money. Yes I understand that money is required, but...It's too bad there are many good photographers on Flickr, Yahoo started wrecking it, and now it seems the Smugmug crew is finishing the task.

photomf
 
Posts: 1

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:03 pm


xf wrote:I have just left Flickr and come back to PBase. It makes no sense to pay that outrageous price for keeping a small gallery like mine and dealing with a sloppy interface like Flickr's. I prefer PBase. For me, it is as good --or better-- as it was in 2004.

wyk
 
Posts: 20

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:27 am


akmc_in_au wrote:The other thing is that there is an ever-present possibility that PBase may vanish tomorrow while Flikr is unlikely to. Being Borged with SmugMug is a different question. I dread that day if it comes, but at least the photos will continue to be up. You can therefore regard the higher Flickr price as a "peace of mind" premium.

I know that I'd happily pay more for PBase... IF it meant that it switched to professional development, support and maintenance. But if wishes were horses and all that...


The current owner of FLIKR have owned it for just barely two years. PBASE is under the same ownership it has been for over 20 years now. Only one of these entities stated in a letter to thousands of people recently(as well as a few times in the past) that it is losing money and wants more - and it wasn't PBASE. Your 'piece of mind premium' might be a product in only one mind here. PBASE is not a corporation trying to please investors. It is the product of people who love photography, and has one single purpose - to allow people to share and store their photos and make them accessible to the world. This is mainly because that remains the sole purpose for it's creators. So long as the original owners wish to share and store their photos and help others do the same, PBASE will be here.

Wesley Keller AKA WYK

akmc_in_au
 
Posts: 914

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:28 pm


Well, let's get this out of the way first:
wyk wrote:Member since I first helped Chuck trouble shoot several beta versions in the 90's.


So, basically you're a long standing buddy of his. Good. No issues with your objectivity then. Well, not other than hauling out Internet Argument Cliche 1294 when you hear something that you think is a slight against him, even though it isn't and was just my analysis of what we know rather than what you assert:

wyk wrote:Your 'piece of mind premium' might be a product in only one mind here.


"*You're* on your own. *I* speak for the everyone". Sure, whatever. However let's deconstruct what you've said anyway.

wyk wrote:The current owner of FLIKR have owned it for just barely two years. PBASE is under the same ownership it has been for over 20 years now.


You say that as if it is (a) good and (b) relevant. It's neither.

First of all the MacAskills founded what would become SmugMug in 2002. They haven't owned Flickr for that length of time but they (or more precisely the company that they founded) have been in the photo web site game for the better part of 20 years meaning that your comparison is irrelevant.

Second, the "same ownership" thing. PBase may nominally be a company but in practical terms it's Slug and Emily. There used to be employees; NoOutlet, the Kirby twins, Cami who breezed in with such enthusiasm (four years ago) but was gone in a week... but none have been seen in the last few years. It's therefore just a couple running it. People get older. People change over time. Their interests and enthusiasms change. Their priorities change. And 20 years is a long time. This isn't a bad thing, it's human nature. You can claim (without an objective basis for doing so) that they still "love photography". And who knows, maybe they do. Except... looking at objective facts, Slug hasn't posted a single photo in his galleries for 7 years. Emily posts more often but still has only about 3400 images on line, which is not a huge number for an 18 year old account. This somewhat at variance with your assertion regarding what will happen "So long as the original owners wish to share and store their photos".

However what they do on their personal accounts pales in comparison to what they do on the site, which isn't much, and it would be impossible to reasonably argue otherwise. A year ago they moved data centres and introduced swiping and the Auto size. A brief wave of enthusiasm as anyone who has been around for a while has seen before and since then... nothing, as anyone who has been around for a while has also seen before. The News subforum is a stark display of this. Swiping in March 2019 (over a year ago), storage cost change in February 2019, new data centre February 2019 (three posts in a month!) but then we have to go back to July 2017 (over 2 years prior), then before that November 2016, then... November 2013 (three years prior) and so on. Most people who are still here have come to accept it for what it is.

Conversely at SmugMug, change is a constant because it's not two people with outside lives, but a professionally run company with employees who can carry on even if the owners become distracted or bored. I've said before that I don't like the way they've chosen to implement their site, and I still don't, but at least they are doing something and have a team to fall back on.

wyk wrote:Only one of these entities stated in a letter to thousands of people recently(as well as a few times in the past) that it is losing money and wants more - and it wasn't PBASE.


In no small part because the last time we heard from Slug it was via cave paintings in the Chauvet Cave in France. (That's an observation more than a criticism since again, people who have been around long enough know the score and have accepted what it is, me included.) That aside, however, the point is irrelevant because there is one fundamental difference between Flickr and either PBase or SmugMug. Flickr is the only one that has a disproportionate population of freeloaders that it can't easily rid itself of. At SmugMug if you don't pay, you don't play. If you don't continue to pay, your photos go away. That isn't a criticism either, because I believe that there are too many people who expect to be given things for free while still being paid for their own work. Similarly with PBase you are given a trial account, but if you want to upload after that you have to pay. Again, this is as it should be. It stands to PBase's credit that they don't seem to remove defunct accounts, but there is still a cost of admission.

Flickr on the other hand has traditionally had an overwhelming number of completely free accounts. You didn't get some bells and whistles with a free account. You did have to put up with advertising... which hardly anybody with an ad blocker has seen in the last 10 years. That isn't sustainable. Flickr has now put limits on how many photos can be uploaded on a free account. Cue the predictable outrage along the lines of "How DARE they! I DESERVE to get stuff for free, it's my human right!". That limit is still being pretty generous for the sponges and leeches, but in addition to that MacAskill is trying to appeal to the better part of the user base's nature by saying "this isn't free; this service costs money to provide to you. If you want it to continue then could you please chip in?". First, that is more than reasonable IMHO. Second, it hasn't been done by PBase because PBase already did it, and rightly did it, a long time ago:
PBase FAQ wrote:Is PBase free?
No. Costs are too great to offer unlimited space without bombarding everyone with pop-up ads and banners. However, the cost is low for the features and photo storage you're getting and the support we offer (forums, one-on-one email).
The price you pay helps to cover the disk space, the webservers, the database, backup systems, bandwidth, and support.


wyk wrote:Your 'piece of mind premium' might be a product in only one mind here. PBASE is not a corporation trying to please investors.


If you're going to argue, at least argue consistently. That last sentence is a complete non sequitur. Suppose that a site's servers collapsed catastrophically one morning. Compare the situation between a two person band and a corporation.

In PBase's case the problem would fall on the heads of one couple. They aren't answerable to anyone. It would be entirely possible for them to just throw up their hands and say "Sorry guys, too hard, that's the end, refund cheque's in the mail". Would they do that? I doubt it, not as a first resort or even a second. Slug seems like a good guy and I'm sure that he and Emily would work their backsides off to try to restore the site. But what if, gods forbid, he's sick? There's no team to fall back on. A professionally run corporation, on the other hand, is something that has an existence beyond the individuals in it. There is no single point of failure. If one of the MacAskills (again gods forbid) gets hit by a bus there are another 20, 30 people at SmugMug HQ to step up. And if the servers are down, they have shareholders (I don't know how many outside of the founders since as far as I can see it's a private company, but most likely some) and probably financial backers to answer to. Walking away isn't an option the way it is for an individual.

Also a corporation has a responsibility to be on the ball and professional when it comes to administration. In 2015, conversely, PBase glitched because - and I still can't believe I'm writing this - apparently the domain name wasn't renewed in a timely fashion. And incidentally, that's ticking down again now, with the renewal being due on 10 August. Why?? Why would anyone let their domain run that close to the bone? All it takes to renew a domain name for a decade is a mouse click, a credit card, and a relatively piddling amount of money. I keep all of my own domain names with a registration expiry of between 5 and 10 years from now. Flickr's is out in late 2022. You only need to slip on this once and have some professional domain jumper grab your expired domain name (which should be illegal, but that's a different conversation) and offer to sell it back to you for "how much have you got?".

Then there's the issue of finances. We know that the number of photos being uploaded to PBase is falling year after year, and not by a trivial amount. It would be delusional to believe that there hasn't also be a fall in paying members. Nobody except Slug and Emily know (or at least I hope they know) how their (probably declining) revenue compares to their costs, but if the latter comes to exceed the former then you can't reasonably expect them to dig into their personal pockets to keep this place alive indefinitely. SmugMug Inc on the other hand may have also been founded on enthusiasm (just because I don't like their site doesn't mean that I don't respect what the MacAskills have built OR question their dedication to photography), but it's run as their meal ticket. It's what they work on every day. It's more than just a site, it's the hub of an ecosystem of services to professional photographers that brings in their bread. They therefore have a lot more skin in the game.

So yes, I do indeed think that there is more piece of mind with a professionally run company than a "mom and pop" business, which I say descriptively, not disparagingly. Do I think that Flickr will remain in its current form? That I'm less certain about if SmugMug can't turn it around. I know that if I was in the hot seat at SmugMug I'd probably want to merge the back ends at the very least. The risk with merging the sites as a whole is that it will shed a lot of membership bulk which will be bad for the visibility of the site but probably good financially; it all comes down to whether they can get enough Flickerians to pay their way. But even if they don't, I don't doubt for a minute that the Flickr galleries will continue to exist inside SmugMug because failing to do so would be PR poison. There's no such assurance about PBase.

It will probably last for as long as the owners can run it. Or, "keep it ticking over", anyway. Beyond that, I still maintain that it's an open question. Slug and Emily's intentions aren't the question. The realities of time, money and commerce are.

wyk
 
Posts: 20

Re: Flikr Price Increase

Post Fri May 08, 2020 4:52 pm


It would appear the epidemic has left you with a lot of time on your hands.


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