I’ve used Flickr since 2005. It used to be the ‘poster child’ of what was then affectionately known as “Web 2.0” – the concept that the web was evolving from a top-down read-only publishing network into a two-way read-write web. Websites were beginning to act like fully functioning desktop software. Forms could update information without refreshing the page. Social media was being born. They were heady days for geeks like me.
Flickr lost its way after it was sold to Yahoo! and began to be used mainly as a backup service for people’s smartphones. I was guilty of that too. The community seemed to disappear, being sucked into the algorithmic doom-scrolling FOMO-inducing behemoth known as Facebook. Dedicated photographers moved on to other specialist networks such as SmugMug, 500px, and others. But Flickr hung on in there. Out of loyalty I kept paying for my Pro account.
Fast forward to 2018 when SmugMug bought Flickr. From what I’ve seen, Flickr has been resuscitated and the community seems to be gathering again. Some of the early key figures have rejoined the staff. The user interface is being updated with some nice Flickr-y features.
And best of all, every single photo I’ve ever uploaded to the service since 2005 is still available. And findable. And Creative Commons licensed. Not many services have endured so long, and I think Flickr has a bright future. It’s time for me to really re-engage with Flickr, and for the last year or so I’ve been uploading my best images. I no longer upload by the bucket load, but have gone back to how I began, carefully choosing, uploading, describing and tagging. I enjoy it.
Head over to view my photos on Flickr.