Yahoo apparently brought in a high priced expert consultant to help them plan a rollout of a flickr update

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by WilWheaton

First all the change in the layouts, which I admit I like as a design– it forefronts the image.

But alas, the change did again break my CC Attribution Helper script. It took a few rounds of XPATH fiddling, but there is a new update available.

Yet the flaffle over what the new accounts mean is staggerling clownish. Most everyone I heard form on twitter was as confused as I what these new accounts mean for existing pro users. Most think they are being asked to choose one of the new accounts (you do not).

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 11.53.00 PM

Why would I want to switch to Free? Just because it is free? It suggests I need to do something by August.

I’m staying Pro, Yo.

But ahem flickr.

You just drop this on a community w/o any notice? sneak preview? ask for feedback?

I feel not only like a user, but used.

Tumblr, meet your future maker. Errr, Makr.

Just squeeze the ref rubber nose

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Alan,

    In addition to being alerted to the changes via considerable negative response on Flickr from some long-standing photographers, I read with considerable confusion the text of the email that Flickr sent me:

    “Amazing things are happening at Flickr. We’ve made a lot of important upgrades to your service that we wanted you to know about.

    As a Pro Member, your subscription remains the same. You’ll enjoy unlimited space for your photos and videos, detailed stats and an ad-free experience. However, you can switch to a Free account before August 20, 2013.”

    1) They’ve made a lot of important upgrades that they want me to know about.
    2) They tell me about NONE of them.
    3) They tell me my subscription remains the same.
    4) They let me know that if I want to switch to a free account, I can.

    So, yeah, Flickr. You just spent a gazillion emails telling all your Pro users ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, other than the fact that they can change to a free account. That sounds like a really good business plan.

    This does NOT, in any way, inspire any confidence in the Yahoos at Yahoo who are (NOT) facilitating clear communication with Flickr users.

    Communication Fail.

  2. New accounts certainly not been clear. Especially the bit about ad-free being twice the price of current Pro ($50 instead of $25). At that point I thought maybe I could put up with ads or go Picasa. It’s only reading further down the page that you find that if you are on a recurring Pro (automatically renews) that you can stay there at the same $25 you’ve paid before. Somehow it feels like they are trying to push people to the Free account. More money to be made from ads than customers it seems.

    1. Amazing – I have to read @cogdog’s comments to figure out Flickr’s changes. Thanks for this detail Nigel, I am on a recurring Pro account but had not idea that it would stay at the $25 amount, I had assumed they were jacking it to $50 which would have had me convert to a free account as I don’t upload very high res photos and am unlikely to break the 1Tb anytime soon. Cheers, Scott

  3. The favorites… the comments…the links… the explores… These were all a part of the valuable learning community that Flickr used to provide… But that is so deeply buried now as to be next to useless…

    The slick gallery of photos (a windows 8 wannabe rip?) are indeed the focus of the redesign – to the detriment of the entire site. It is now bloatware – so many images, so crowded together that no one image can been seen and appreciated.
    There is not a museum out there that tries to fit their entire collection crammed onto one wall… whitespace matters.
    Images need to breath.

    And by cramming all the images “in your face”, the descriptive stories, critques and comments, links, geomapping, camera EXIF data – all the rich content that made you want to learn more and explore more is now completely hidden. The “social” has been completely removed, the richness buried.

    Flickr is reduced down to the vomit quality of a google images spew… only with less whitespace.
    Slick images for shallow interaction.

    But likely the biggest problem is the extreme slowness and high bandwidth usage this “new” look imposes … I’ve both timed and tested the load for the photostream page ( mine and others) and am horrified at the load results.

    On a practical basis I now face a wait for 20-60 seconds or more for a page to load – indeed I often end up with a screen of just grey boxes as the images are simply too big to load with any kind of response time – and I’m on a DSL connection. .. I’m getting tired of grey boxes and spinning “wait while we load” balls while the new “infinite page” load crawls forward.
    Those without highspeed connectivity have had to walk away – they can’t even get into their own photostream.

    This bloat of bandwidth usage removes it from the realm of educational use where we’ve been promoting it for years… and now being removed from the iPad browser as well as the bandwidth consumption is simply too high. Even on the networked computers, the students aren’t waiting for slow loads… Just hitting the back button and gone. … gone over to google images – it’s far faster.

    All this was done, without warning, to paying customers. Customers who have long standing paid usage – I’ve only been a payng customer for the past 5 years, so I’m relatively new there… many photographers have 8 or more years invested and thousands of hours.

    CEO Marissa Mayer has publicly said that there are no professional photographers anymore… I guess that’s true enough for the handful of iPhone photos she’s managed to post in her Flickr stream, but it is not true for the long standing, serious camera users who carefully tagged and geo-located and enriched their EXIF data to share their learning with others.

    Flickr WAS a very indepth, valuable learning and sharing community.
    Now it is a shallow, vanity post – a Facebook wannabe.

    Too bad… many of us “guess-we’re-not-really-photographers” don’t mind paying for service – we’ve had paid PRO accounts for years. But we do expect service. The Flickr staff have not even bothered to respond to serious questions or notifications about truly broken features … and there were at least seven spelling errors in their preppy little “we so happy with our grand redesign” notice, so I suspect that both accuracy and service have left the building. Kiddie coders and sloppy work are not acceptable in a commercial venue… Heck – I’d not even accept this careless UX work from my 1st year web design students!

    At this point I’ve taken most my body of work over to private. At least they won’t get to use my images to sell ads.

    ….. sigh.

  4. BTW… Read the Flickr ad you started your blog post with very carefully… YOU ( the PRO account user) will get ad-free browsing.
    … but that’s all they say… what they don’t fess up to is that your viewers (non PRO account holders) will see your stream riddled with ads.
    Yup – you get the have you images used to whore for them.

    Flickr… your new pimp.

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