I joined Flickr when it was only 18 months old, in August 2005. Having spent considerable effort on bespoke solutions to display my aviation photos, I wanted somewhere to put ‘the rest.’ Less than two years later, I gave up on my bespoke solutions and committed an entire air show worth of photos to Flickr and have never looked back.
Now, in late 2018, I have over 5,000 photos on Flickr stretching all the way back to 2005. In fact, there are photos from way before that which I have since uploaded.
Over the – goodness – 13 years I have been using Flickr, there have been a number of big changes. I remember when Yahoo! (who bought Flickr a few months before I joined) suddenly insisted everyone had to use a Yahoo! ID to access the service. I remember at least two major redesigns. And there were changes to the features along the way.
In January 2007, I upgraded to Flickr Pro, which removed most of the limits I was hitting – principally the number of albums I could have. Somewhere along the line I realised my ISP had a perk that gave me free Pro status, which required a bit of a jig to be danced to take advantage of. Last year, my ISP removed that benefit and I once again danced a jig and ended up with a standard (free) account, as (then) recent changes at Flickr had removed most of the earlier limits for free accounts.
Which brings us to November 2018. Oath which is owned by Verizon who bought Flickr off Yahoo! sold it to SmugMug in April and now the new owners are once again introducing limits on free accounts. And that’s just fine by me.
What I like about SmugMug’s approach is that they’re asking us to “follow the money.” They have made it clear they want to keep Flickr alive and healthy, but to do so, they need to charge for the best features – like no limits. So I paid my money and returned to Pro status.
Apart from Gmail, I cannot think of a single other online service I have been using for more than 10 years, and that’s more than 10 years of great service.