Flickr just expanded Pro tools — but free users may have to delete some photos

flickr redesigns profiles 64568015 ml
Flickr no longer offers free users a free terabyte of space. Prykhodov / 123RF

After Flickr changed hands earlier this year, moving from Yahoo to SmugMug, photographers no longer have to wonder what changes, exactly, are in store for the photography platform. On Thursday, November 1, Flickr launched a slew of improvements including enhanced image optimization, simpler sign-ups, and new limitations on free accounts.

For users on Flickr’s free plan, the storage is now determined by the number of images (or videos), not the amount of space they take up. Instead of a terabyte of free storage, users on Flickr’s free plan will now be capped at 1,000 photos or videos. Flickr is giving free users with more than 1,000 images until January 8, 2019, to pare down their image collections.

Of note, users on free accounts who have uploaded photos with a Creative Commons license before November 1, 2018 will not see any of those photos deleted, even if they have over 1,000 Creative Commons images. Similarly, photos in the Flickr Commons collection, which have been provided by institutions, will not be deleted. Going forward, free accounts will not be able to add more than 1,000 Creative Commons photos without first upgrading to a Pro account.

Flickr says Yahoo’s decision to expand free account storage to a terabyte started changing the landscape of the platform, bringing users that used the platform for storage and not members of the photo-sharing community. Flickr says that more photographers know how many photos they shot, while few knew how much data they actually had taken up, sparking the move from a storage limit to one that instead limits the number of files. A majority of free users have less than 1,000 images while a majority of Pro users have more than 1,000, Flickr says.

Flickr says free membership still allows for the same community participation. “Unfortunately, ‘free’ services are seldom actually free for users. Users pay with their data or with their time. We would rather the arrangement be transparent,” Flickr said in a press release.

Flickr’s Pro subscription, which comes to about $50 a year, continues to offer unlimited image storage at full resolution and ad-free browsing, but expands a few other options as well. Images are now better optimized for any screen, up to 5K. Subscribers will also see priority support and advanced statistics in the mobile version. Starting next year, video playback time will increase from three minutes to 10 minutes. And the partnership programs that give subscribers discounts to other products will expand to include Adobe Creative Cloud, SmugMug portfolios, and Peak Design gear.

For all users, login and sign up is now simpler — Flickr says the top request for users after the acquisition was to allow for sign-ups without a Yahoo email address. Users can now create an account with any email, and existing users can also change the email address associated with the account. 

The acquisition has also allowed the team to devote more resources to fighting spam. Flickr says users may have already noticed less spam over the last month as the company began implementing an artificial intelligence-based system designed to track spam behavior.

With the changes, Flickr is offering a 30-percent discount on the $50 subscription for the first year for users who upgrade before November 30.

Updated to include recent information on Flickr Commons and Creative Commons photos.

Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Photography

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Photography

Photography news: Best spot for fall photos, new firmware from Fuji and Nikon

Where's the best spot to take fall photos? Michigan, according to social media and a Nikon contest. The results and more in this week's photography news, including significant firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T3, X-H1, and GFX 50S.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.