Flickr is Snapped Up by SmugMug

Posted on April 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Music + Videos with 4 Comments

Flickr is Snapped Up by SmugMug

Two photo services, combined, and this was the best photo they could come up with.

SmugMug announced this week that it will acquire venerable photo-sharing service Flickr for an undisclosed sum.

“Flickr is an amazing community, full of some of the world’s most passionate photographers,” SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill told USA Today. “It’s a fantastic product and a beloved brand, supplying tens of billions of photos to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Flickr has survived through thick-and-thin and is core to the entire fabric of the Internet.”

It’s also on the way out: Despite launching early in the Internet era—in 2002, no less—Flickr has foundered in the face of superior photo services, especially Google Photos, which commanded over 500 million active users as of last May. USA Today reports that Flickr’s user base is actually just north of 100 million users.

It also suffered mightily at the hands of its previous and inept corporate parent, Yahoo. When Yahoo revealed in 2016 that over 500 million of its accounts had been compromised years early by hackers, I closed my own Yahoo account, which killed my Flickr account too. I recommended at the time that readers do the same.

Anyway, for those who have held out with Flickr, SmugMug says that it will not be making any changes to the service, which will remain standalone. You can find out more at the SmugMug + Flickr FAQ.


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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Flickr is Snapped Up by SmugMug”

  1. jimchamplin

    An explanation of this uselessness in terms of people.

    This gentleman is now the other gentleman.

    The second gentleman will begin to call himself by the name of the first because nobody had ever met him as he was from Dubuque, IA.

    After taking the first gentleman’s name, he continues to live in obscurity, his only friends being the people who never realized that he was different from their actual friend.

  2. secondpeng

    I think this is actually very positive. It's about more than just the number of users.

    Flickr at it's best was a great community of photographers. SmugMug has thrived by remaining small and focusing on looking after it's service to make it really good. Actually caring about their users rather than building up a cash cow to sell for a big pay day.

    Flickr might not have half a billion users and look like it's in decline based on just measuring quantity of users, but if 100 million users now enjoy an improving photographic community, then that's great. It's large companies like Yahoo that have hurt it. For the first time since 2005 it's owned by somebody who wants to look after it and improve it.

    Google Photos is mainly an easy photo backup and sharing platform - it's not a community like Flickr. There's a place for people that are into photography that isn't just a backup and sharing mechanism.

  3. aparlette

    I'm still an active Flickr user and I think it is one of the best photo sharing sites even if it has fallen out of popular favor. Plus, the user community there is generally quite good even if it doesn't match the pure size of some other services. I find them to have a good balance of photography-specific features and easy sharing and browsing based on topic.

    I'm happy to see it move into the hands of someone who might give it some attention.

  4. Scott Ross

    I have always been a fan of Smugmug. Mainly because Don MacAskill is an avid motorcycle rider. I discovered smugmug when I joined One of the largest forums created by Don MacAskill. There was smugmug everywhere but it was not thrown down the throats of the users.

    Flickr will be fine under the reign of Baldy aka Don MacAskill. I have nothing but nice things to say, and I know he does podcast interviews. I am trying to remember what shows he was a guest on in the past ... one of the motorcycle podcasts.