B12 Solipsism

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SmugMug snaps up Flickr photo service from Verizon’s Oath

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Old Skooler
Old Skooler

USA Today reports:

Flickr has been snapped up by Silicon Valley photo-sharing and storage company SmugMug, USA TODAY has learned.

SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill told USA TODAY he’s committed to breathing new life into the faded social networking pioneer, which hosted photos and lively interactions long before it became trendy.

SmugMug, an independent, family-run company, will maintain Flickr as a standalone community of amateur and professional photographers and give the long neglected service the focus and resources it deserves, MacAskill said in an exclusive interview.

The mostly free Flickr was founded in 2004 and played a central role in the cultural and social life of the Internet. Friendships were forged on Flickr as people shared photographs and others commented on them. 

Overshadowed in the smartphone era by the rise of Facebook and Instagram, Flickr suffered defections to rival services but held onto a core loyal following of shutterbugs despite product and policy misses and the hacks of Yahoo, as well as encroaching competition from Google and other massive photo services.

Traffic has shrunk from its heyday, but Flickr says it has more than 75 million registered photographers and more than 100 million unique users who post tens of billions of photos. In March, Flickr had 13.1 million unique visitors, up from 10.8 million a year earlier, according to research firm comScore.

(click here to continue reading SmugMug snaps up Flickr photo service from Verizon’s Oath.)

Hmm, that’s potentially great news. I’ve used SmugMug for selling prints in the past,1 and of course, I’m a multiple-visits-daily user of Flickr ever since I was a beta-version Flickereeno.2 

Yesterday as I drifted off to sleep I even had the germ of an blog post idea about Flickr’s long term future. I assume Flickr is profitable, and gets quite a lot of traffic, but nothing has been changed there for a long, long time. I’m not sure what Verizon’s plans were, or if they had decided upon them. 

So I’m cautiously optimistic this will be good synergy.

And I especially liked this:

 

And, in an industry that dangles free services to suck up people’s personal information to target ads, SmugMug has catered to people who are willing to pay for privacy and storage, offering four levels of subscriptions to appeal to everyday shutterbugs and professional photographers alike.

 

MacAskill says the SmugMug model works for the business and his conscience because it aligns his incentives with his customers. “We don’t mine our customers’ photos for information to sell to the highest bidder, or to turn into targeted advertising campaigns,” he said.

 

After revelations that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information pilfered by Cambridge Analytica, a British political firm with ties to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, consumers are having second thoughts about trading their data for a free service.

 

 

(click here to continue reading SmugMug snaps up Flickr photo service from Verizon’s Oath.)

Footnotes:
  1. without much success to be honest []
  2. circa 2004 []

Written by Seth Anderson

April 20th, 2018 at 5:57 pm

Posted in Business,Photography

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