Flickr set to delete images from free accounts today


Photo-sharing site Flickr is set to start deleting images from non-Pro accounts today, having previously announced a 1000-image limit for non-paying users.

The site had announced the restriction in November, following its acquisition by photo-hosting site SmugMug. Users currently subscribed to Flickr on a Pro account are able to upload as many images as they want, with no overall limit on storage, in addition to ad-free browsing and other benefits.

Previously, non-paying users were offered 1TB of storage space for their images, a move that Flickr has admitted attracted people drawn to the storage itself rather than those keen on using the platform to engage with other photographers. 

While the move will no doubt displease those who have stored years’ worth of images on the platform, Flickr states that this will allow it to provide a better service for its users. “Giving away vast amounts of storage creates data that can be sold to advertisers, with the inevitable result being that advertisers’ interests are prioritized over yours,” it says in a statement. “Reducing the free storage offering ensures that we run Flickr on subscriptions, which guarantees that our focus is always on how to make your experience better.” 

The statement goes on to mention how the freemium model has devalued its service in the eyes of many photographers, and that it needs its most active members to “help us continue investing in Flickr’s stability, growth, and innovation.”

Users are able to download their images either individually, by album or all at once, with instructions for each method detailed in the company’s Help Centre. Those using free accounts who will continue to have more than 1000 images stored will see their oldest images culled first.

Launched in 2004, Flickr was once the most popular online image-sharing platform, but has struggled in recent years to retain the photographic community. It was bought a year after its launch by Yahoo!, which itself was acquired by Verizon in 2017, where it was subsequently brought under the Oath umbrella. SmugMug acquired Yahoo in April 2018, although the terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

A subscription to Flickr’s Pro service currently costs $49.99 in the US and £47.88 in the UK, or £5.99 a month if billed on a monthly basis. Users in Australia are charged $AU59.88 per year, or $AU6.99 per month.

Image credit: TechRadar