Its nice to see they care enough to not just let Flickr wither and die. Problem is they are using poison instead of water. This is not going to bring new users to Flickr, it is going to drive away existing users. The Help forum is full of people announcing they are deleting their accounts. Flickr was about community. Now its just a photo viewer.
Flickr’s layout was simple and clean but functional. This design is simple, but it has lost the functionality and clean look. Not everyone wants edge to edge photos or they would be posting on Pinterest or Google+ instead of here already. Instead of Favorite, Add to Group, etc. up at the top of your screen, they are in the lower right with all the group and set stuff hidden behind the confusing […] menu. Comments, descriptions, and who’s photos you are looking at aren’t visible until you scroll down. Photo descriptions are gone from our front page, even titles only appear when you hover the mouse on a photo. Our sets are virtually useless now since they are not displayed on the main page where people might actually see them.
Comments are a big part of what makes Flickr a community. Now if you even go to the photo page, you must scroll down to see them. And if there are a bunch of comments, Flickr collapses all but the most recent four comments. I frequently post alternate views in the comments on my own photos, now they would be hidden as soon as four more people comment. I know many other people do the same. Hiding comments is no way to have a conversation with your friends and viewers. Having such large photos everywhere means people don’t need to click to see them anymore. I have always left my front page photos small to make visitors click if they want to get a good look. Now they can just click favorite from the main page and move on. I bet the percentage of commenting goes down significantly. That destroys the value of being on Flickr.
It used to cost $25 to get a Pro account where we actually had some benefits. Now it will cost $50 to be Ad Free and no other benefit. That is insane. They would never get enough ad based income from a user in one year to equal that. Most ad networks pay based on clicks, not views. They just want to push everyone off the paid plans. The loss of unlimited storage doesn’t bother me. 1 TB of photos is plenty of space, even if you were posting 10 MB photos (my 16 megapixel DSLR JPEGs are around 4mb) that would be 100,000 photos. That is basically unlimited unless you are uploading every photo you shoot. And charging $500 for 2 TB, lmfao. But they have said nothing about the other limits Free accounts have always had. Or whether Stats will even exist in the new plans. My guess is they won’t. It would save Yahoo a lot of money not having to process all those Stats. If Stats doesn’t go away, no way they are going to give Stats to free users. They need some way to narrow down who they have to process stats for so they don’t overwork their servers.
I am glad I am not as hooked on Flickr as I used to be. I would be a lot more upset. I am sure they will get some of the annoying stuff improved, but the Flickr we all cared about is dead. They don’t want photographers or quality photos anymore, they just want ad views. I don’t have plans to quit Flickr right now, but if I do, I wouldn’t delete my account. No matter how bad the layout gets, at least we have a history of all those past comments and discussions on our streams.
Here is an interesting quote by Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo:
” … was a decision that we would not have the Flickr Pro piece anymore, and that all – there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn’t want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing.”
I am not a professional photographer, but there are certainly differences in website needs between snapshooters dumping their memory card to Flickr and people who spend hours perfecting a few photos in camera and in software before posting them.