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Flickr flicks to paid subscriptions

Flickr has been caught out making ambiguous offers for Adobe services as a lure for photographers to upgrade to its ‘Flickr Pro’ paid subscription service.

Flickr Pro is a US$5.99/month upgrade to the free Flickr photo storage/display service which is ad-free and provides unlimited storage. The Adobe sweetener was initially described thus: ‘Flickr Pros Get 15 percent off Creative Cloud, Adobe’s impressive suite of creative apps that includes Lightroom and Photoshop.’

There were no other details about the offer, but digging deeper, Swedish photographer Mattias Hedberg discovered that:
1. If you already have an account with Adobe you don’t qualify.
2. The discount is only for the first year. (Well, yes!)
3. Perhaps the trickiest part of the offer is that it applies to the whole-box-and-dice 20+ All Apps plan at a rent-seekinjg $72.59,  rather than the $14.29 Photography plan, which would more than suffice for most Flickr Pro subscribers.

‘This is the kind of shit that should be plainly visible in the offer! Or, at the very least, in a fine print below. Right now it’s neither,’ Mattias commented.

But it is! After a bit of a monstering on the Reddit photography forum Flickr has belatedly taken the point. In the past day or so, the wording of the Adobe discount was quietly changed to: ‘Flickr Pros get 15 percent off their first year of Creative Cloud’s All Apps plan, Adobe’s impressive suite of creative apps that includes Lightroom and Photoshop.’

Flickr is also offering discounts for Smugmug (which owns Flickr) and Blurb, among others.

Free not free
Flickr is also coming in for a bit of a bollocking following its announcement that from January 8, ‘Free accounts will be limited to 1000 photos and videos. If you need unlimited storage, you’ll need to upgrade to Flickr Pro.’

This is a radical departure from the previous Flickr offer. When the business was owned by Yahoo, it was ‘giving away’ up to 1 terabyte of free storage space. Free accounts with more than 1000 files will no longer be able to upload new photos or videos, and from February 4, ‘Any items over the 1000-upload limit will be at risk of deletion, starting with the oldest of the items. Photos licensed through Creative Commons before November 1, 2018 will not be deleted, even for accounts over the 1000 limit.’

The new management makes a sound argument for its new paid subscription  service, noting that when advertising pays the bills, the subscribers are basically the product; that the service is actually worth paying for, rather than being worthless; and it is primarily professionals who store over 1000 images on Flickr, so the monthly Flickr Pro fee of under $10 shouldn’t be too much of an imposition on these photographers.

Flickr is offering a totally transparent 15 percent discount for Flickr Pro for those who sign up before January 8 and use the coupon code FLICKRPRO15 at checkout.





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