PSA: the Flickr 1TB Tragedy has Jan and Feb 2019 deadlines

After languishing among the Yahoo wahoos, Flickr was sold to Smugmug. As part of this “digesting” of the service, Smugmug decided to do away with the free 1TB plan. Users who want to keep all their photos on the 1TB free plan must upgrade to a PRO plan by January 8 in 2019.

People who do not upgrade to a PRO plan by then will only keep their 1000 most recent photographs. So start processing/downloading/saving now if you don’t plan on upgrading to a PRO plan! If you don’t adjust your account yourself (if you have over 1000 photos), starting February 5 in 2019 flickr-Smugmug will begin deleting your older photos until your account is at 1000 or less [STANNIS: Fewer!]…

To make the PRO plan more tempting, they are adding some features (eg unlimited) and they are also offering a one year 30% off discount for the 1st year of PRO for the “Free 1TB” plans.

Details and discussion via Techmeme and official takes on the changes in multiple posts at the official flickr blog


  1. S.W. Anderson says

    It’s disheartening to see free become something less — 1k image limit in this case — or go away altogether. Yet, in a wide open Internet, the popularity that free whatever can engender tends to become unaffordable, unsustainable or both. In Flikr’s case, 1,000 images stored free and retrieved on demand for all comers still seems generous.

    As someone who was privileged to visit New York’s wonderful American Museum of Natural History twice in my youth, I can recall the best and worse things said about the place. Those were, 1, “There’s so much that’s so great you can’t see but a small part of it in a day”; and 2, “There’s so much that’s so great you can only see a small part of it in a day.” Recalling how true that was on both counts, I wonder how many of nephew Bert’s 670 images captured during a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings Aunt Marge and Uncle Phil can ooh and aah at before their eyes glaze over and they just want to be anywhere else seeing anything else. Back in the film days, exposures came at a cost. Film was relatively cheap, slides cost more and prints, especially color, added up quickly. Today’s digital cameras and 128Gb SDHC cards make saturation shooting easy and affordable. So, Bert could shoot closeups, panoramas, silhouettes and detail images that photographers back in the day would’ve passed on in favor of hitting the highlights and getting to the nitty gritty. Some photographers’ Flikr selections are obviously meant to highlight some of their best work. Others, alas, seem to be massive uploads of every image they’ve ever clicked on. For those folks, a 1,000-image limit still leaves expansive room for redundancy and ennui-inducing thoroughness. 😉

    • yes! for new flickr users, 1000 photos is aplenty ~ as you said, an exercise in selecting. But for people who have been with flickr since the early days and use it as their primary photo sharing, it’s not hard to get over 1000, especially if they are doing some of the more voluminous type of shooting (sports, events, etc).

      Regardless it is yet another reminder of the relatively ephemeral nature of online (and especially free) services. I think I wrote about it in my Tripod and Geocities pages 🙂