Flickr Does the Right Thing
[I am CEO of Zooomr]
Flickr: Forums: FlickrHelp: Official contact and tag limit changes topic Flickr’s taken a lot of heat this week over some big changes over log on merging, tag limits and limiting how many contacts you can have on Flickr.
Although I’m still not happy about having to merge my “old skool” ID to a Yahoo ID (and will wait until the last possible minute to do so), the issue that affected me the most was the limiting of contacts on Flickr. Since the change I had been unable to add any new contacts on my Flickr account, which just seemed kind of backwards for a social based photo sharing site. I of course, as usual, was one of the loudest belly achers about this.
Flickr had different reasons for limiting contacts (anything beyond 3,000 was the cut off). One was an architectural/technical one. Rev Dan Catt gives some of the details on this here. But there were also very legitimate concerns with users accumulating large collections of contacts that could possibly be used for spamming, porn or other reasons.
Unfortunately at the time that they made this decision they essentially capped some of their most active earliest users on the site (myself included) from adding more contacts on Flickr.
Flickr user Merkley (ubber popular and takes the some of the best nudes — warning NSFW — around) came up with an alternative for Flickr. Merkley’s alternative was that Flickr should have their 3,000 contact limit, but that it should only apply to non-reciprocating contacts. This way people who were legitimately adding more than 3,000 contacts as reciprocation or (as was in Merkley’s case) because they needed to be contacts to see his private nude shots, these users could still use flickr as they always had. But simple contact whores, porn spammers, etc. would be limited.
It’s better explained in Merkley’s own words (especially since he calls me both handsome and talented):
“anyway, how about making a reciprocation exclusion? in other words, spammers are all out there clicking their fingers off trying to build a database of potential victims while AWESOME HANDSOME TALENTED people like myself and thomas hawk are merely reciprocating — seems like the two things are miles apart and therefore should be considered as two different groups with completely different intentions.
holy crap i’m as smart as i am handsome — almost.
anyway, just do it my way and thank me later. saves a lot of time. i’m sooo right. “
So I was pleased this afternoon to find that after being unable to add any Flickr contacts for the past 48 hours or so that I was able to add back my first. I’ve got a backlog of new contacts to add (I have several people who add me every day and like to reciprocate) but this will get done this weekend hopefully.
Bottom line is though that Merkley’s suggestion was a smart one and Flickr listened to their users and made a change on this one. And that’s a good thing.
Thanks Stewart for listening to the community on this one. Flickr is a better place with reciprocation than without. And thanks for spending hours of your own time these past few days personally responding in the forums on all of these changes. It’s this personal level of attention that means the most and it’s also a big part of what makes flickr such a great place.