I’ve been a loyal flickr user for many years now. However, in recent months Yahoo has unveiled drastic changes to flickr, including a complete layout redesign and a new business model. Flickr is now targeting a more massive demographic, seeing a shift from a more serious photography site to something more like an image cloud. At the time of writing, the top three most popular cameras used by the flickr community were all iPhones.
It is also shifting to an ad-supported free account model, and the old Pro account is being phased out. The new Free accounts feature one terabyte of storage, but also feature ads. If you’d like to opt out of ads in your flickr experience, it will cost $50 per year for an Ad-Free account. And if you’d like to upgrade to your storage to two terabytes, it will cost $500 per year. This is in contrast to the previous Pro accounts which offered unlimited storage for $25 per year with no ads.
They also changed their layout to a dynamically-resizing, never-ending scrolling page.
Because of these changes (primarily changes to the layout and user interface, which have come with unacceptable slowdowns in loading time and a massive uptick in required processing power), I’m currently shopping around for a replacement for flickr. Another site, 500px, appears to be gaining steam, as more photographers make the shift over frustration with flickr’s overhaul. Although I have not yet deleted my flickr account, I have begun to transfer some of my photos over to 500px, and am currently test-driving it to determine its viability as a flickr replacement. During this trial period, I’ve updated the links on my site to direct to my 500px profile instead of my flickr profile.
500px’s layout is clean, with uniformly-sized thumbnails
500px features a clean design and intuitive user interface. There are options for free accounts, a Plus account that is similar to flickr’s old Pro account for $25 per year, or an Awesome account for $75 per year, which comes with lots of added goodies. One great feature that 500px offers at all account levels is the ability to create an online store where you can sell prints of your images. The 500px commission on image sales is 5%, which is reasonable. To my knowledge, flickr does not offer a comparable service.
More to come on this for sure once I’ve had an adequate amount of time to determine how 500px stands up to flickr.