Flickr is Dead

Screen shot 2011-08-12 at 1.39.46 AM

Poll:

Which one of these two albums looks better?

Flickr (the same view since 2004)

or

Google+ (with added infinite scrolling this week)

You know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s totally irrelevant. The Google one looks far better, but that’s so beside the point at this point.

Last night I realized for the first time that Flickr really was dead.

Where did this realization come from?

It had nothing to do with the fact that Google Photos is rolling out new innovation on a weekly basis while Flickr is still stuck in 2004. I realized it when I went to Trey Ratcliff’s photowalk at Stanford. There were over 200 people there. *200 people*! It was the largest photowalk I’ve ever been on and I’ve done dozens over the years. And what was everybody talking about at the photowalk?

Flickr?

No.

Google+?

Yes.

Not only was *everyone* talking about Google, there were tons of people from Google who were there at the walk.

Google Photos Community Manager Brian Rose was there (along with his sexy moustache). The Photo Team guy who built their lightbox Vincent Mo was there. Google+ Community Manager Natalie Villalobos was there (she used to work at Yahoo). Chris Chabot was there (and he was at Wednesday night’s photowalk in SF too). Mike Wiacek was there.

And these are just some of the people at Google that I know better than others.

There were so many more Googlers there as well. Lisa Bettany and Catherine Hall from TWIT Photos were there too.

I remember back when Flickr used to feel like this. Back when Stewart Butterfield used to show up at the SF Flickr Social meetups. Even though those were smaller meetups, they were full of the same high energy and spirit. Now the SF Flickr Group is basically dead. The meetups that used to happen every month don’t happen anymore. There are only three posts to the group in the past year and one of them is about reviving the group. I haven’t seen a Flickr employee in years. I’m still banned from their help forum for two years now — thanks alot guys.

Meanwhile I visited the Google Campus last week and got to spend an entire afternoon with an excited and engaged team who are full of energy and charged up about building the next great thing in photos.

Earlier this week, the Yahoo exec who is in charge of Flickr, Blake Irving, sent out an interesting tweet. He linked to an article that talked about the tipping point. The gist of the article was that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.

While it would be easy to point to the fact that there are more photographers and photographs still on Flickr than the fledgling Google+, the fact of the matter is that the most resolved 10% have now moved on from Flickr to Google+. It will take time, maybe even a few years for the rest of them to follow, but follow they will. I’ve seen this movie before. I blogged the tipping point back in 2005 before Flickr overtook Webshots for the first time.

Webshots is still around of course, but they are entirely irrelevant at this point. Remember how excited we all were about flickr back then? Sort of like how we are about Google Photos now.

And like Flickr killed Webshots, Google+ will kill flickr.

When we look back 5 years from now at the downfall of Flickr there will probably be plenty of people to blame.

Was it simply ineffective Yahoo management? Were the execs too demoralized about underwater stock options?

Carol Bartz still doesn’t have a Flickr account. Meanwhile Sergey Brin posted shots earlier this week of some kick ass underwater photography from a trip of his to Egypt.

Was it all of the turnover, including the layoffs themselves in the flickr group and lack of any meaningful Yahoo investment?

Was it the rotating team leadership after Stewart the problem? Was it the attitude coming out of Community Management that photographers were more of a nuisance to put up with and talked down to than a community worth engaging?

Who knows.

But Flickr is very much dead in the water. It will take time to really see it happen, but they’ve lost the soul of photosharing. They’ve lost the spirit of photosharing — the zest and passion and love — and while they got away with that for a long time due to lack of competition, things have now changed with Google Photos arriving on the scene, and to a degree 500px as well.

I’m sure I’ll get a bunch of haters responding to this post. Flickr is still beloved by so many of us. Myself included. I still upload photos up there every single day. Don’t hate me for sharing this opinion. And don’t bash Google Photos for whatever features you think they lack compared to flickr — but, but, but, Google+ doesn’t have groups, blah, blah, blah.

All that’s coming.

As I mentioned before, it’s not about the features, it’s about the spirit. And with weekly innovation on their invite only beta product, Google+ is far more likely to get the final product right than Flickr is to innovate at this point.

Please keep in mind that this is just my personal observation after watching the photo sharing space very closely over a long period of years. I very well could be wrong.

Mark Twain’s famous quote “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” in fact comes to mind.

Update: This post was on hacker news this morning and as such is getting a lot of traffic.

If any of you don’t have Google+ invites and want one, I’ve got 38 of my 150 left and you can get one here. First come, first serve.

The comments on this post on Google+ itself are also worth reading.

Update #2: Peter Adams got a great group photo from last night. He was shooting with a Phase One system which is pretty awesome. Check out his group photo here — be sure to actually click on the photo to see it huge in the lightbox view.

Update #3: My Google+ invite link ran out of invites above, but Mike Wiacek sent me his invite link which should be reloaded with another 143 or so if people still need them, just click here.

Update #4: Looks like Mike and I are both out of invites now. David Miller just emailed me his invite link. You should be able to get one here if you still need one until they run out.

Update #5: TechCrunch picks up on the Flickr story here. Looks like we’re out of invites again. Instead of me posting more links in the body of this post, if you have an invite link and want to share it, post it in the comments and people can use them there if they still need an invite to sign up.

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157 comments on “Flickr is Dead
  1. Alper says:

    I’m looking for my Flickr to Google+ exporter to move everything over. You already have something?

  2. Paul says:

    Fortunately at London Flickr Meetups the spirit is good as the community of enthusiasts keep things going. I must agree it would be nice to see staff from Flickr along at the events more often, talking to their customers and engaging in discussions on how the service can be improved. Like you I hope that Flickr can turn things around so that after the initial enthusiasm for Google+ has gone both services are still competing on delivering a good service.

  3. Sean says:

    Eh, yes. I think you’re right about the flickr=dead part. We’ll see if G+ is the successor, though it’s got a good start. I was hanging out with my friend Bernie DeChant (http://www.berniedechant.com/) and although we didn’t talk about G+, it was clear that Flickr is not the go-to place to share these days.

  4. Adrian Fox says:

    Totally agree, Google+ looks awesome.
    But Flickr started for photographers and Google+ didn’t. So the target groups are completely different.

    http://focussion.com/ is a website that encourages feedback on photography with tokens, so you can really improve as photographer. I think that concept rocks!

  5. Sounds about right to me, unless Flickr have some amazing product release waiting in the wings. Like that’ll ever happen!

    I’m sentimental about 500px.com. They’ve been with us since before Flickr but have only recently been discovered by the masses. It’s the best place to showcase our best images, much better than G+, and I hope we continue to use it for that purpose while using Google be social and to share what’s new.

    Last one to leave Flickr please turn out the lights.

  6. EDIT: while using Google to be social

  7. Greg says:

    Hey Thomas – why can I not +1 this? ;)

  8. Johnny Worthington says:

    By Google+, you actually mean Picasa, right?

    The reason I choose my online sites is their ability to be shared with multiple services in an easy and pleasing way.

    Google+ is just a wrapper around the Picasa interface…. but I guess “Picasa killed Flickr” just doesn’t sound as sexy…

    Also, lucky I use my real legal name…

  9. Klado says:

    You can @Greg… http://goo.gl/faAqM , you totally can, +1.

  10. Mark J P says:

    I’m a Flickr user and I still enjoy it for the most part but I think you make some interesting points. It has been clear to me in the recent weeks that the tides of change are upon us and that the momentum is already shifting towards to Google+.

    When the eminent people in the photography community begin using and talking about a new service it gets other people excited. Google are clearly aware of this and are making a concerted effort to accommodate those people (Tray Ratcliff, Thomas Hawk etc), while Flickr (as far as I can tell) doesn’t appear to be as concerned about making this sort of effort. I guess this is just complacency? Yes Google+ is lacking a few features when compared to Flickr but as you say, I’m sure these things will be forthcoming and Google are clearly highly motivated at this point in time.

    I’ve been really enjoying using Google+ from a photography perspective as there is such an active and enthusiastic photo community. I also have plenty of contacts on Flickr whose work I enjoy and find inspiring that are not yet using Google+ and this is one of the main reasons that I will continue to return to Flickr for the foreseeable future.

    For the time being I’m happy using both Flickr and Google+ (plus some other services to a lesser extent e.g. 500px) but I can easily see Google+ becoming the next big thing for the sharing of photography and it should definitely be keeping the guys at Flickr awake at night. Plus let’s not forget that most of us pay a premium to use Flickr, while we get Google+ for free. In my mind if I’m being asked to pay for a service it should be head and shoulders above the free alternatives. I’ve recently paid for another year’s subscription to Flickr, but in 12 months’ time when the renewal is due again will I be reaching for my credit card?

    It’s an interesting time, that’s for sure and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it pans out over the next 12 months.

  11. John Linton says:

    Flickr has a scroll that uses lightbox and does one large photo at a time…I forget what it’s called, but it’s the best display of an album I’ve seen…The problem is you have to go hunting for it…It should be the way they show all albums…

    I’m a big fan of Google+, but I think the photo section has some software issues they need to address.

    Your photos rock on whatever site they end up on…

  12. Jonathan says:

    I think what you’re really saying is that no matter how good an incumbent is, the minute something new catches peoples’ attention, it will “die”. I’d agree with that I think. It’s just a pity this diverts attention away from the objective merits of design features towards the rather vapid realm of “Ooh, shiny!”

    So – to turn this into a more productive post: how about you blog about some things that are on Flickr that G+ doesn’t have (like alternative licensing, editing, etc.), and why you like (or dislike) them?

  13. Jamie says:

    Ironic that “HEY, IT’S MY FLICKRSTREAM!” appears alongside this article.

  14. James says:

    I blogged something similar about Flickr being in massive decline, although not as boldly as you said in that it’s ‘dead’ (although I think you’re not far from the mark).

    The internal culture there is curious… when one of your designers goes on to her own blog and writes about the problem with the site, you have to wonder what’s happening inside? c.f. — http://blog.timoni.org/post/5557930029/the-most-important-page-on-flickr

  15. Tomas says:

    OT: @sean just some badgy fun over your flickr activity – http://flickrbadges.in/seanomalone

  16. David says:

    Yay! Linkbait titles :)

  17. So, why you haven’t close your Flickr account?

  18. xah lee says:

    perhaps it’s more pertinent to compare Flickr with Picasa instead, of your 2 photo sets.

    As your current set on Flickr vs Google+, the g+ one looks better on the front page thumbnails, but sucks badly when you click on a photo.

  19. Anonymous says:

    @Alper: You can use this script https://github.com/gubatron/flickasa to export all Flickr images+albums to Google+/Picasa.

  20. Dmitri says:

    Good article. However, from my perspective, both G+ and 500px are lacking forum-like communities that Flickr has, which is groups. This is the only way one could get their work discovered by others and discover others’ works, unless he has 1000+ contacts. Without appropriate online community gateways, service remains only a portfolio, which could look better but won’t bring any visitors just because of that.

  21. Jaymce says:

    you are so late on this… flickr died the day they hired heather.

    I miss the old flickr days
    I miss the sf flickr meetups
    I miss all the sf photo peeps
    You were all such an inspiration.

  22. Aaron Ortiz says:

    Maybe if Google tries to buy Yahoo this time, it won’t be barred from it. Google’s monopoly is threatened now. I’d like to see the mix.

  23. My flickr stream is full of instagram from all my friends. Instagram is my new photo community.

    G+ photos doesn’t have Creative Commons support or easy sharing/embed features like flickr does.

    I still send all my instagram photos over to flickr to share them elsewhere and add CC licenses to them.

  24. Dave says:

    While flickr is definitely stagnating, Google+ are being very smart and are using you to help raise their visibility and to keep their profile high.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Aaron… how is Google a monopoly with regards to this subject?

    Flickr is also dying due to sites like instagram where users can upload pics of cats and their ijunk, from their ijunk.

  26. Flicker is totally stagnating. Phone apps like Instagram etc are taking over along with more specialized photo sits like 500 pixels.

    I knew Flickr was doomed the minute Yahoo took it over ;)

    But regardless, the bigger issue is that Flickr has stopped innovating. They need to make it easy for people to access their pictures and attach them to theit wordpress blogs or whatever, but they dont have any inhouse tools developed to do this. They rely on 3rd party developers. In order to stay relevant, they need to take control!

  27. Saney McSanerton says:

    Which one of these two albums looks better?

    The one that doesn’t screw with my scrollbar.

  28. Jolene says:

    Flickr isn’t dead, it’s just an ex-beau. It’s still out there…you remember how much in love you once were, how you thought it was going to be forever. Eventually, you grew apart…

    You still bump into Flickr once in a while. You remember Flickr fondly…all the good times you shared. Some of your mutual friends are still your friends while others, well, Flickr got to keep them.

    Flickr still has a lot of your stuff, too. Stuff you should get back before it’s too late. But Flickr isn’t going to throw it all out on the lawn and burn it. Flickr’s not like that.

    But it might throw it in the donation bin, never to be seen again. You should go get thatt stuff before you lose it.

  29. Jolene says:

    Flickr isn’t dead, it’s just an ex-beau. It’s still out there…you remember how much in love you once were, how you thought it was going to be forever. Eventually, you grew apart…

    You still bump into Flickr once in a while. You remember Flickr fondly…all the good times you shared. Some of your mutual friends are still your friends while others, well, Flickr got to keep them.

    Flickr still has a lot of your stuff, too. Stuff you should get back before it’s too late. But Flickr isn’t going to throw it all out on the lawn and burn it. Flickr’s not like that.

    But it might throw it in the donation bin, never to be seen again. You should go get that stuff before you lose it.

  30. Stef says:

    My problem with Flickr is that it’s so damn slow. It takes 2-3 sec to load a photo and that’s too much.

  31. Cirkus says:

    flickr died when they didnt hire me. <3

  32. Marcus says:

    It was dead in 2006 when they hadn’t changed for two years and started to talk down, you hit the salient points. But it took so godawful long because photographers like yourself just couldn’t tell them where to shove it. Meanwhile most the competition dried up.

    Photographers & Flickr reminds me of designers of Designers and Apple. The artists do us all a disservice when they come to technology and act in lockstep.

    Yes yes for community or whatever other excuse, but let’s face it, they are afraid of being wrong. It’s sad, and it really has a huge affect on us all. For example, the viable competition, as you say, is now the BORG, Google+, a monopoly. *sigh*

    And you love it. *sigh*

  33. Jolene says:

    Sorry for the double post. I can’t delete one of them!

  34. William Beem says:

    Flickr has BEEN dead for quite some time. I still toss images up there because I paid for a “Pro” account through next year. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I was impressed by a new feature at Flickr. In fact, I’ve been disappointed by some of the recent changes. My photos are spread all over Tumblr now and there’s nothing I can do, sort of deleting everything from Flickr.

    I realize that’s different from your perspective on sharing photos, but I think that choice should belong to the person who owns the photo and posted it. I have my settings to prevent blogging, but they’re absolutely useless on Flickr. Their own controls don’t work as one would reasonably expect.

    Even something as simple as Search recently got screwed up – mildly. The drop down used to show an option to search your own photos, but now I have to go through an extra step to show that option. Why? When is it considered an improvement to make your user take yet another keystroke to do something that was working fine before the change?

    Believe me, I’m surprised that Google is the company that stepped up to make something work that replaces Flickr. They didn’t have a good reputation for social engagement, had many privacy mistakes, and quite simply – Google creeped me out. However, I’m enjoying Google+ and it seems just a little less creepy these days.

  35. Alex Hart says:

    I’ve been a long time Flickr user. Google+ was the only thing that got me at all motivated to try Picasa. Picasa is still not as easy to use, so for now, I’m using both accounts actively.

    If the two were identical in every other respect, I’d go with picasa just for Google+ integration.

    Also, anyone looking for a tool to migrate their content from one to another, I used migratr and it worked well with minimal intervention.

  36. Whenever Yahoo or eBay seem to buy anything, it ends up with no active development (see: delicious, PayPal, StumbleUpon, Skype, etc.). Also, I’d like to see in Google+ the ability to set licensing and location for photos like you can in Flickr.

  37. Panino says:

    Im on flickr and i do really like what they have, but its indeed getting old. G+ is starting off well but its going to take some time, but they are definitely headed in the right direction.

    So as my Flickr Pro Subscription is nearing its end im stuck deciding if i should keep it or not. While looking around at other suggestions i came across 500px and they seem to be doing something fun there. I recommend people take a look as see what they have to offer, but i still dont know if its enough to woooooo me off of flickr and G+.

  38. Colin says:

    flickasa….amazing.

    I love the internets.

  39. Perry says:

    First, a disclaimer: I’m not a photographer and I’ve hardly used Flickr. Google+ has quickly been turning into a follower of many photographers, however, as I’ve spent hours going through many amazing albums recently.

    I love the way G+ handles images, providing photo info (who took it, when, with what equipment), ample poster comment room below it (I’ve enjoyed many stories of photographers’ panicked flights to get a great shot, such as Lisa Bettany’s story of chasing this rainbow http://goo.gl/H2sB1), and a comment stream for viewers. The new infinite scroll is great as well, providing a very simple method to view albums of any size.

    If you haven’t tried out Google+ yet there’s still 150 invites on my account, feel free to use them! https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DRosE0ZVNwFI%3AUxR5SyVAKKo

  40. Thomas Hawk says:

    And Cirkus. You know I told them to hire you. They don’t listen to me though. You would have been really great in that job.

  41. hehe – I thought you said, “No more extreme blog posts!” And then the next day, you unleash THIS BOMB! haha…. I love it… and of course I agree…

    There is something unusual happening at Google. I think there is something fundamental in their DNA that is always striving to improve and evolve their products, and we don’t see that at Yahoo (or many other companies). We see incremental improvements in GMail, in Google Search, in Image Search, in Android, in Google Maps, etc etc… you can go on and on… and it is that same DNA that will take Google Photos and Google+ forward along with the artists.

  42. Mike Cohen says:

    I disagree. Flickr is still a lot better at managing a huge number of photos. Photosets are a lot more flexible than anything on Google+, and it’s much easier to upload to Flickr with Aperture, iPhoto, and Lightroom plugins. Flickr also lets you store an unlimited number of photos, but Google+ has a fixed storage limit.

    I’m on Google+ but somehow I don’t really find it that interesting or useful,

  43. Thomas Hawk says:

    hehe – I thought you said, “No more extreme blog posts!” And then the next day, you unleash THIS BOMB! haha…. I love it… and of course I agree…

    Trey, I know. It just hit me driving home from the photowalk last night and I couldn’t help myself. Oh well. Sometimes I just gotta get it out. Great hanging out with you the past few days.

  44. Aaron Ortiz says:

    Yahoo owns flickr. Yahoo is the #2 search engine currently. If Yahoo were owned by Google, Google might be unassailable (a monopoly)

    As far as I remember, Google tried to buy Yahoo when Microsoft tried to do so, but was rejected by Yahoo and the US Government.

    Maybe Google could buy flickr from Yahoo…but I doubt that would be attractive to Google.

  45. Thomas Hawk says:

    I disagree. Flickr is still a lot better at managing a huge number of photos. Photosets are a lot more flexible than anything on Google+, and it’s much easier to upload to Flickr with Aperture, iPhoto, and Lightroom plugins. Flickr also lets you store an unlimited number of photos, but Google+ has a fixed storage limit.

    Mike, Google also lets you store an unlimited number of photos *and for free*, unlike Flickr’s 200 photo limit unless you pay — as long as you keep them at 1280px or smaller. 1280px is pretty big as it is and for web presentation is probably just fine.

    If you want to pay you can host larger photos on Picasa. I do think Google needs to revisit their pricing for larger sized photos personally. I think the main thing here is that they need to recognize the value to Google of public photos vs. private photos.

    Public photos can be used for search indexing. Public photos drive traffic. Public photos ultimately can serve ads. Private photos do none of these things. I guarantee my flickrstream (that I pay $29 a year for on flickr) has generated more than $29 worth of new Pro Accounts and advertising $$$ for Yahoo. If I were Google I’d seriously consider allowing free unlimited public photos of any size. Bandwidth and storage is only getting cheaper. Alternatively they could come up with a more strategic approach to photos and treat photos different than other data.

    All content storage should not be priced equally. Some content will have more value to Google than other content and their pricing ultimately should reflect this. This is part of a longer term conversation though.

    it’s much easier to upload to Flickr with Aperture, iPhoto, and Lightroom plugins.

    Trust me — *all* of this will be coming. Just wait until Google+ releases their API. It’s going to be a whole new wave of awesomeness.

  46. Russ says:

    Read the google terms and conditions, anythig you upload is essentially theirs to use without having to ask your permission. Flickr is dead? I think not.

  47. gp says:

    I’m also looking to switch from Flickr to Google+
    i’ve abandoned my Flickr because no one of my friends is looking at it, but still their functionalities are much better and photographs oriented. As soon as Google+ will improve their Albums and has a better integration with Picasa, I will jump there. So it works, if you don’t keep your technology fresh your website will die.

  48. prophead says:

    Thomas Hawk isn’t your real name, you could be yanked off G+ at their whim, just like Flikr can yank you for no reason whatsoever, same problem. Prophead’s not my real name either (shhhh)

  49. Spyou says:

    You don’t want to put all you life on google’s servers. That’s largely enought to keep flickr alive for awhile :)

  50. Flickr seems to have suddenly flickred into life this week and “innovated” their Contacts Photos page to allow something bigger than squishy little thumbnails.

    Competition remains a good thing!

  51. Thomas Hawk says:

    Prophead, G+ doesn’t require you to use your legal birth certificate name, just your real name.

    Thomas Hawk to that end is very much my real name. I’ve been public for years now. I’ve got credit cards in my name with banks, verified accounts on both Google and Twitter with my name. It’s my only name on Facebook where all my real life friends and family know me. Hell I sell my photos on Getty Images with my real name: http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?assettype=image&family=creative&artist=Thomas+Hawk

    Is Charlie Sheen’s real name Charlie Sheen? Sure it is. Would Google let him register as Charlie Sheen instead of Carlos Estevez the name he was born with? I’m sure they would.

    I understand that this topic is a hot button though.

    Mukumbura, I just noticed that contacts page refresh a few minutes ago. Unfortunately though that’s largely just cosmetic. Small cosmetic changes ≠ innovation.

    Russ, that FUD has been dismissed by so many people now. I’m not sure why people keep bringing it up. I don’t comment on copyright matters though.

  52. Russ says:

    You’re not sure why? Isnt it obvious?

    “By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

    … Taken directly from google’s terms an conditions.

  53. merkley??? says:

    My art is not welcome on G+

    “G+” Doesn’t mean Grow Up.

    also noted, G+ is just below F-

  54. Thomas Hawk says:

    merkley, I hear you on that point and that bums me out that it’s not. I do hope that they implement filters or something like that like flickr did at some point. You’re stuff is epic! You know how much I love it.

    Russ, I don’t comment on copyright.

    Maybe before spreading more FUD though you should do some googling and educate yourself on that passage. Alot of other people have already written on it.

    But nobody’s forcing anyone on G+. If you’re not comfortable with the TOS personally, by all means steer clear of the site. It might not be for you. The rest of us will enjoy it just fine though.

  55. Too much optimism on Google+ at this point. But Flickr is still an important place on the Web to have a footprint established and not leaving just because there’s a new player in town. The embed features and integration to blogs will always be a great convenience.

  56. John E Adams says:

    Nice post, found via Trey’s G+ post.

    Google products have been in my toolbox for sometime and this newest addition is a winner – in addition to the beautiful display of images it tends to be a much more personal experience with the additional dynamics in the environment. I will still hang some out there on my free flickr, stopped paying them when they lost me a couple years ago – 500 what??? why bother!

  57. WalkerTexasRanger says:

    Some great points Thomas thanks for sharing.
    I have a question; what is people opinion of photo.net? I never have heard them come up in a conversation about photo sharing websites before. I have been a member for years and I enjoy that site alot, especially their critique forum. Am I just behind the times? What do people think of photo.net?

  58. ososment says:

    Oh TH, this did make me laugh.
    You seem to get drawn to anything new… I bet your closets are FULL of sheeny cool once gadgets.

    Flickr dead? Hardly. G+ the best thing since sliced bread? It’s alright but it’s not amazing. But I guess you get lots of people to follow your sage words there, I mean I write fuck all and I’ve got hundreds of strangers adding me to their circles.

    Hope it does for you what you want, but this is just hyperbole mixed with some geezer with a ‘sexy moustache’.

  59. Seneschal says:

    ……EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Seneschal says:

    I remember a conversation we were having about the longevity of the home of your web-published work. Meaning… will your 60k (and growing) Flickr archive be moved somewhere in 5, 10, 20, 40 years? I think it’s inevitable that your million photos will be viewed somewhere else other than Flickr (would you still be posting to WebShots in 2011 if you chose to use their service in 2005). That brings up another question… would WebShots be as dead as it is today if a heavy-hitter like yourself was using it….. but I digress.

    Anyways… I personally don’t think Yahoo! or Flickr will be around in 30 years from now… I just hope you have an exit plan to port your current web-published archive somewhere else. If it were me it’d be a hard decision to move all those photos somewhere else… you’d want your archive-to-1-million to stay in the same location and not keep moving it around.
    It’s all about perception… what would people think of your archive if it were on WebShots? Would you be that WebShots-guy who takes hella photos? If your archive was on Google+ it’d be more current and more easily accessible and just in view in people’s streams when they login to G+.

    If I worked for Google I’d be persuading you to move your shiz over. That’d make headlines (at least in the photo community). You wanna kill Flickr?….. you’ve been a thorn in their side the whole time, if you yanked your shiz, it’d be a big blow to them. “If You Yanked Your Shiz, It’d Be A Big Blow To Them”, was the name of a movie I accidentally rented 12 times.

  61. I admire your candid writing and forward thinking. Sometimes we just need to be told how it is and you have done just that. Zack Arias said the same thing in his TWiT Photo podcast and hearing it from you just nailed the head in the coffin. Now i can take your insight and move onto better things without feeling the urge to look back. Thank you for that.

  62. the difference in the TOS doesn’t give you any cause for pause, thomas?

    google: “By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”
    “You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.”
    “You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.”

    yahoo/flickr: “Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service. However, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable:

    (b)With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Service and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Service.”

  63. Charlie says:

    I have been using Flickr since 5 years ago… and still like it.
    Google+ is a great way to share photos, maybe more “social” but I haven’t use it a lot.

    I do believe Flickr needs some “update” on their front-end, specially when you have to many new options to share your pics…

    Maybe this is some “reflect” of the Yahoo! Inc. Going nowhere right now :(

  64. Mirco says:

    The Only thing, that keeps me from moving my photos to Google+/Picasa is “it’s Google”, and that the only company I have less trust in than Apple, Yahoo or Facebook.

    From my point of view they just want to know too much about me and handle too much of my data and files.

  65. Jon Rose says:

    I’m not really sure what any of us could say will be around in 30 years, especially in Internet Time. And yeah, most people do have an exit strategy. It’s called “re-uploading”. No one’s going to be like oh, G+ is here, let me delete my local RAWs.

    Thomas Hawk: “If I were Google I’d seriously consider allowing free unlimited public photos of any size. Bandwidth and storage is only getting cheaper. Alternatively they could come up with a more strategic approach to photos and treat photos different than other data.”

    I’m of the opposite opinion. If I were Google I wouldn’t consider it much, if at all. While storage is getting cheaper in a certain sense, bandwidth is more complicated. It might be cheaper for hosts, but most of the time it isn’t for end users. Anecdotally speaking, I’m still on the same 1.5 Mbps down that I’ve had since 1999, and this is with living in a decent part of the city that’s next to one where the average income is 6 figures.

    It’s also like you’ve said yourself: the changes to Picasa’s limits are more than adequate for pretty much all web viewing, so while it’d be interesting and even in a way ideal to allow uploading of pics with dimensions and filesizes that blur the lines between cloud archival and photosharing, there’s some question as to what value there would be when most people aren’t going to get any real benefit from it. The ridiculous filesizes thing works for YouTube not because of the cost of bandwidth, necessarily, but because you can watch one part of a video while downloading the rest, which doesn’t apply to photos at all.

  66. JarFil says:

    Google+ is the current fad.
    Flickr is dead on the water.

    Both true statements right now, doesn’t mean they will keep true in a couple of years. Google+ will stop being “the new thing”, as well as Flickr may -or may not- evolve to compete with Google+… or they may be two separate services with different audiences… or maybe even complete each other.

    Only time will tell. Right now both Google+ and Flickr have the potential for greatness and nothingness alike.

  67. Lars says:

    what a stupid and useless article.
    google+? wtf, g+ has nothing to do with a photosharing site.
    it’s facebook – and even worse than that.
    500üpx is a photo site. that is “better” than flickr, yes.

  68. Jon Busby says:

    “Lots of people talking about +” yes it’s new

    Lots of Google people talking about it…funny that.

    More obsession in micro refining existing tools. Content always matters first. Flickr does the job for me. Can’t be bothered to work a n other platform, would rather spend and share great content with a working solution. The need to shift, even with an API is still not compelling for me.

  69. Arno says:

    Giving Google a nice portfolio of images free to use, are you people?

    I suggest you read section 11 of Google’s ToS very carefully before you transfer all your imagery from Flickr to Google.

    Or… wait, I’ll copy and past the most important part of it for you right here (see also http://fromadifferentangle.net/?p=2247):

    “11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”

    Suh-yure! It’s only for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services, but that’s a very VERY subjective thing now, isn’t it (and probably conveniently forgotten, overlooked or explained away…)
    Tread carefully…

  70. Me says:

    Has no one seriously noticed that the Google+ one looks identical the Skydrive – the one that was out almost 2 months prior to the Google+ launch?

  71. Mike says:

    You may or may not be right about G+ overtaking Flickr. Note that Skydrive and Facebook are both ahead right now…

    Sergei’s underwater pictures however are just ok… nothing special photographically. The colors are missing.

  72. brancolina says:

    Flickr is not dead, but some are doing their best to kill it.
    G+ is just another hyped image based social network, I am totally not convinced about it!

  73. Liz says:

    I like Flickr! My only complaint with it is that we have to reduce the size of the images we put up. If they used a resizer which automatically made our images the correct size for the site it would be much quicker – and I would use it a lot more than I do.
    Note: is there not room for everyone out there, whichever site they wish to use?

  74. akuzi says:

    Agree that Flickr has lost a lot of appeal. For casual photo sharing Facebook has taken over and is good enough for most now that it supports larger pictures. For serious hobbyists a lot the appeal left once Flickr was overtaken by the hoards awarding gold stars etc, a lot of moved to places like DeviantArt or RedBubble which have more of a sense of community.

    I don’t know about G+. Seems unlikely that photographers will start using it on-mass, just because it is so vanilla and style-less. The current trend seems to be mobile photography apps like Instagram – where’s there really a lot of amazing photographers and innovation happening and it’s only going to more so as phone cameras improve.

  75. madhi19 says:

    Yeah the moment you take a picture with a phone or a tablet that has the G+ app and realise that it get sent to your web album automatically you just don’t bother with any other photo hosting.

  76. neil says:

    for a long time I was looking for something better than flicker maybe even 500px. well I’m still waiting and looking.
    hopefully google+ will come with some really cool features, these things take time

  77. Until G+ and 500px do something about the copyright and download issues, I will be uploading to those sites on a very limited basis. At least I can somewhat protect my images on Flickr by blocking any downloads. Yeah, I know you can always do a screen capture, or more if you are sophisticated enough, but it slows down the amateurs and limits them to screen resolution.

    With the phenomenal number of users and images uploaded to Flickr each month, I think it will be a long time before it looks dead, and I suspect that it will continue to twitch when kicked for a very long time after that. We’ll see.

  78. AnthonyP says:

    Sure, let’s all use G+ for photos:

    From the G+ TOS: http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS

    Section 11.1:
    “You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”

    Section 11.2:
    “You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.”

  79. Rich says:

    I think the Flickr that we had a few years ago is gone. I think the energy and enthusiasm of users to met up and interact has changed. I think it is the same way the blogging has changed. That part of Flickr is dead.

    I think you are really premature to say Google+ is going to replace it. It is possible the single place for all photographers on the web might be gone. In the way that Live Journal users feel that Facebook and Google+ are no where as good as LJ at its prime. I am not sure that 2007 flickr will ever come back. I am not sure you will find that ever again.

    It is possible that Flickr is dead and nothing will be that good again.

  80. Stephen Bove says:

    Per your comment…

    Google is more likeley to get the final product right.”

    There is no “final product” on the web…

    Just sayin’

    But you’re spot on about spirit…that is what drives innovation and when that goes awry, the product coasts to toast.

  81. Tim says:

    The Flickr individual photo page is WAY nicer than the Google+ one.

  82. Bob Adragna says:

    I don’t think Flickr is dead yet, but it’s dying a slow death. Google+ has a GUI that’s lively and well thought out. As a place to store you photos it’s getting there. Lately my interest in FB has really faded,
    though with their huge number of followers I don’t think they’re in any danger for quite a while. Google+ seems alive, exciting and evolving. All that and it’s still by invitation (albeit not that hard to get). I read some ware that Picasa will be rebranded with a new name (perhaps combing with Google+). FYI enjoy your posts.

  83. Scott says:

    Google+ is a new data mining tool for Google, don’t fall for it folks.

  84. was there says:

    I was there, and so where some of my friends.

    If you look at the group photo, there is no way it was over 200 people

    why do you want to LIE about something so easily looked up?

  85. Ben says:

    I do agree on the fact that Flickr doesn’t innovate anymore and that Google+ Photos is a lot more attractive but Google+ is for me too many things at once. I do not like the “improved Facebook” feeling it gives.

    I do prefer a standalone service for photos, where photographers (pros and others) meet and share…

  86. nippy says:

    thomas – was it not you that, just in june of this very year, wrote “My two favorite photosharing sites at present are 500px and Flickr”?

    amazing how in the last month and a half, flickr somehow died…

    sorry, you just sound like a spokesperson (again…500px?). trying to get in good with the google+ gods, perhaps?

  87. Thomas Hawk says:

    “was there” / Dave,

    there were quite a few people that showed up after that photo was taken as you know. My friend Honey Huckabee for example. Or my friend Sly Vegas and his lady Charli. lots of other people as well.

    Per the signup page there were 243 registered: http://plancast.com/p/6p5d/trey-ratcliff-photowalk-stanford

    Not everyone who was there was in that group photo at the beginning of the walk though. I haven’t counted the heads in that photo but the photographer who took it apparently has and says that there are 183 people in it. http://www.peteradamsphoto.com/?p=2776 I’m sure at least another 17 people showed up after that photo.

    Whatever the case it most certainly was the largest photowalk I’ve ever been on. I’m not sure the exact precise number of attendes is the point, whether it was 150 or 180 or 200 or 220 or 250 — does it make a difference?

    Saying I’m “LYING” is a bit extreme don’t you think?

  88. Thomas Hawk says:

    thomas – was it not you that, just in june of this very year, wrote “My two favorite photosharing sites at present are 500px and Flickr”?

    Nippy quite possibly, but that statement would have been made before Google+ showed up. The fact of the matter is that the engagement, attention, interaction is far superior on Google+ than it is on Flickr. And not just for me.

    A few metrics.

    In a little over a month on G+ I’ve already got *twice* the followers that I have on Flickr over the course of 7 years! And my flickr account has probably been in the top 1% of accounts on the site as far as popularity/followers goes.

    My most recent photo uploaded to Flickr right now has 4 favorites and 2 comments. My most recent photo uploaded to G+ has 142 +1s and 22 comments.

    I think every single one of my photos on G+ has gotten over 100 +1s. If you compare that vs. Flickr faves, I can’t remember the last time one of my photos got over 100 faves there.

    And btw. I still LOVE flickr. It is definitely one of my favorite photo sharing sites still today. But the momentum in social photo sharing is shifting.

    An insightful quote made by one of Flickr’s Co-Founders Caterina Fake all the way back in 2006.

    “What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”

  89. joits says:

    i’m sure he said the same thing when he was trying shove Zoomr down our throats. but he may be right about google+ even though i’m not too impressed with it. once i uploaded pics, i wanted to title them or change the order people see them and i couldn’t do that. it’s still very limited. for now flickr still offers more for me and i have an audience there.

  90. joits says:

    funny how when flickr updates or changes something on their site, people bitch and moan about the changes. then when flickr doesn’t change or “innovate” they get the same bitching and moaning. classic case of dammed if you do and damned if you don’t. what’s important to me is that the annual cost of a pro account hasn’t changed in years… which is surprising considering everything else around us is getting more and more expensive.

  91. Thomas Hawk says:

    joits. are you on G+ yet? Start posting some photos there and then spend a few hours +1ing and commenting on photos by other people there and watch what happens.

    Believe me I had a very large audience at flickr, still do. The engagement is much higher on G+. I care more about engagement — that’s the social part of social sharing.

  92. Yep, Flickr is as dead as a door nail! :-)

  93. Anybody still prattling on about Google’s terms of service seriously needs to do some actual research. Those of you pasting Google’s terms here are ignorant to the broader facts.

    I’m just sayin’.

  94. Ben says:

    Truth be told, I think Google+ layout is absolutely horrible.

  95. Michael says:

    For those who are interested, here are another 100 or so invites to G+.

    https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DaxFTTDlmhp8%3AqnV7RWZHbCg

    If you sing up, you can check out my ‘SquareEye’ photo album, and place me in a circle if you like.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  96. Rob says:

    I am sad to see flickr stagnating but I am not there on G+ quite yet.

    G+ is still more facebook than flickr. I dont put my stuff on facebook because I dont need family and friends to tell me my pics are great, even if they suck.

    G+ is VERY “coastal.” I have no exact number but I am willing to bet the number of Californians is equal to everyone else combined. Not a bad thing, but we Californians sometimes get hyped up about things that are not quite as good as we think. And we tend to live in a very different world than much of the country. Not a bad thing, but sometimes too bleeding edge.

    G+does not yet replicate the photoblog function of flickr. Flickr is my blog. I live on flickr. So far, G+ does nto allow me to do the same in a focused way like flickr does.

    G+ is pretty bandwidth intensive. Live outside the 1st world or in a flyover state and bandwidth gets scarce. For all its faults, flickr loads faster on less bandwidth than G+ does. Believe me, I cant wait until this is not an issue for me!!

    I think flickr can bounce back but they need someone who is passionate about photography to LEAD them. Oh and they need to be passionate about making money too. Lead, not manage. Where are the manufacturer tie ins? Where are the tie ins to major offline photo communities? Where are the flcikr SPONSORED events? When is “World flickr Day?

    Look what MAKE has done and think about that being done with flickr. Here is a deadtree publications, you know the ones people say are sooo last decade, that created a whole industry. Why dont we have a “flickr fair” in major cities EVERY MONTH? flickr KNOWS where its market is. Just look at the geotags and you know how many potential customers you have. Im just guessing that the “Strobist pavilion” might get one or two manufacturers/distributers excited.

    I hope flickr survives and thrives. But something must change and soon.

  97. Gib Wallis says:

    Thomas, how much of your love for Google+ is the free uploading and how much the social engagement?

    What if Google+ made high res photos prohibitively expensive? Or didn’t provide the bandwidth for fast loading?

    For amateur photographers, Google+ is a better deal because it’s free (for now) and it has a beautiful interface for navigating albums and it also has a Facebook component with the Twitter/Flickr asymetrical following component.

    But what if photographers had to get a paid account as a brand? Or had to pay a lot more for their high res photos?

    Google could tier their services in Google+ just like they do with Gmail/Google Apps accounts. And AdWords etc.

  98. Nick t says:

    I think you totally fell for Google backed PR event dude. Don’t be so easily manipulated.

  99. anonymous says:

    Oh the Schadenfreude! Years ago I asked Flickr to transfer a thousand or so photos from one Flickr Pro account to another. The newer of the two accounts would wear my name in a vanity URL. This would assist my personal SEO. It would support me in my work.

    Flickr refused. What’s more, the customer service person at Flickr was a pedant. And the tone was dismissive. It was almost like corresponding with the Whammy Burger employees in that film, “Falling Down” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkwQ6EjLdMQ

    Bye-bye… you Flickrs.

  100. The Grateful says:

    Thanks indeed for sharing this. I am impressed that you shared the G+ invites so openly.

    I know… 150 each, but nice to see.

  101. Karen says:

    I’m not sold on google + yet. look at all the hoops you had to jump through to post a photo to your blog. i’m a slow learner…band wagon jumper… etc

  102. Alpesh says:

    About the album view have a look at this http://www.vikramhazra.com/view/snapshot . This one very close to the the Google+ album view and the pictures links to the blog post.

    Adding view/snapshot after the blogspot blog url does the trick.

  103. Jacques says:

    Sad to read about Flickr’s demise: they were the ‘standard’ for years and they just let it slip away.

    But, with all respect, I don’t see the greatness of G+/Picasa at this moment. Ok, I’m not a Flickr power-user, but this is my rant about Picasa: https://plus.google.com/103604193838758665134/posts/AaLxBc7TE5t

    To me their interface is totally non-intuitive: minimalism is great, but it doesn’t mean you should leave out the bare essentials…

    I do agree, G+ gallery looks better (though they could leave out those comment-bubbles in the right top corner – distracting, in my eyes)

    In general I’m happy with G+ (and the quality of its members!), so I only hope they will improve the photo-experience.

  104. Wonderful article, Thomas. I agree completely! I’m writing a post now (not a long one, just an aside to my daily photo post) and will link to this.

    By the way, if anyone still wants invites, I still have 150 and can invite anyone who asks. I’d give you the link to send them out, Thomas, like it looks like a few others have done (looking at your “updates”, but… I don’t know how to do that. Er… Help?

  105. Nick Keller says:

    Interesting, so when will google start putting ads everywhere?

  106. Verónica says:

    Thanks a lot, this article is very illuminating. I hope to get into google and hopefully Flickr will revive. And thanks for the invitation again you are great
    : )

  107. John says:

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. Flickr is a great tool for sharing images as well as archiving full-resolution copies. Google+ is a social network, and photography is only a tiny part of it. I think the Flickr gallery looks MUCH better than anything Google has yet come up with.

  108. Gunslinger says:

    I hate, Hate, HATE Google’s auto-zoom on mouseover of pictures. The only plus it has to me right now is the my work blocks flickr for some reason.

  109. Mark Long says:

    I’ve been a Flickr Pro user for a couple years and it hasn’t changed. It hasn’t improved at all and it’s too bad because it’s really a great service. I find myself on Google+ more often than anything else these days.

    Here is my G+ invite link for anyone who isn’t on.
    https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DLS39jx-X7SY%3A9PTSzWXjMm8

  110. John E Adams says:

    Big numbers are cool Thomas and a few folks like yourself will pull them for sometime no matter where you go. For the average person on the other hand, (not in a bad way) the G+ experience does not amount to big numbers at all. I share comment etc. and really do not get any more ego boosters than I would on Flickr, its pretty much what you give, you get in return, as it should be.

    As mentioned before it is a much more personable/hearing experience and will always be as long as we don’t pay much attention to those +1’s we are not getting. I have already heard other imagers already gauging and publicly announcing there overall standing as the best 1st, 2nd, 3rd best photographer etc. on G+ just based on these numbers, leaves a bad taste with me over here!

  111. Thomas Hawk says:

    John, that’s an interesting perspective, but what I’ve seen is that almost universally photographers at all levels who are engaging on G+ are seeing more bang for their buck if you will than flickr.

    I know lots and lots of photographers from the barely known to the super popular and my observation is that almost universally they are doing better when engaging on G+.

    More than one person has told me now, for example, that just leaving comments on one of my photos (as an unknown) results in people adding them. That just is not happening at flickr as far as I know.

    Obviously a photographer to a degree will get back attention based on what they give. At flickr, at G+, at 500px, wherever — it just seems like photographers are getting more engagement on their stuff when engaging on G+ vs. flickr.

    Some of it also might be the way you can +name someone on G+. I know I find myself constantly checking out photos when I’m +thomashawk’d.

    I’m not sure what it is, but I’d be interesting in you taking your baseline flickr faves per day for example, fav 100 photos on flickr and +1 100 on G+ and then compare your baseline with your G+ in terms of where you get engagement/attention back. I have no idea about the science behind all of this, but this is how it feels to me.

  112. John E Adams says:

    I just think our flickr acounnts just may be “shopworn”.

    The way G+ is set up is more engaging if you want to play, unlike Flickr where you can dump your pic into 100 groups the average users are all by their lonesome self on G+. Your character, passion and genuine interest in the art are all you have. Because of this many folks will come and even more will go -;0)

  113. Daniel says:

    Here’s some more Google+ invites. Help yourselves!

    http://goo.gl/a6Sqa

  114. @Rob: I haven’t noticed the coastal thing you talked about. In fact, I have contacts on G+ from pretty much everywhere. A lot of them are from Europe and Asia.

    Thomas is right about the level of interactivity on G+… I get way more feedback there than I ever did at Flickr, and I don’t have to whore my photos around to groups to get it. I’m following many amazingly talented photographers, and get to be inspired by their work any time of the day or night via my G+ stream. It’s pretty dang awesome.

    Not to mention how streamlined it is — everything I want to see is right there in my stream. I don’t have to go around to individual pages to see the photos, which takes up way too much time.

    Things aren’t perfect — sharing photos from albums to my stream is odd, having to copy/paste the URL — but it’s still in beta and Google seems really enthusiastic about the photo sharing part of G+. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

  115. neil says:

    well where G+ and photo come in I think we better water mark our photos to be on the safe side.
    ? can we come up with a pole then flicker or G+

  116. I have a bunch of invites to be had on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you’re interested, please use the following link:

    Google+ Invite Link

  117. Jeremy Head says:

    I am amazed you haven’t mentioned Facebook in all this. (I guess because you are a pro photgrapher). But worth noting that FB has way way more photos on it than Flickr already. Something like 10 TIMES more. At the basic level (ie the average user uploading and sharing pics) Flickr ‘died’ long before Google + arrived.

  118. @Jeremy Head: I think in this case it’s quality over quantity. It seems most of what gets shared on Facebook are informal snapshots. G+ seems to be attracting a lot great photographers, both amateur and pro, and there’s a community building there.

  119. Keith says:

    Google+ is competition for Facebook… definitely not competition for Flickr.

  120. neil says:

    Here you go Thomas

  121. neil says:

    Here’s the poll
    http://twtpoll.com/o373k6 Flicker or G+

  122. Nancy says:

    Hmm, Observation is good, But lot many people are using flickr as a tool to submit and share images on sources like Embedded with various websites.

    It will take time to be dead even if it is started..

    Regards
    Nancy

  123. Randolph says:

    You need a more attention grabbing headline for this post.
    Why do you care so much about flickr? You’re always almost getting banned, or writing sensationalistic posts about them. Just wondering why you have such a fascination with that website.

  124. sam donner says:

    snooze… you’re way out in left field…

  125. Keith says:

    NICE SPOOF…..we all know how much you hate Flickr. Love it!

  126. me says:

    Well for me Flickr doesn’t get the corporate security block while EVERYTHING Google minus search and analytics does.

    So to me, if it doens’t get the red screen of death, then it’s not blocked.

  127. Jesse says:

    Great analysis, very interesting. This prompted me to write down my own thoughts on Flickr (vs the rest) See here: http://www.aputure.com/blog/?p=2432

  128. Leah Daniels says:

    My G+ Invite Link: https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3DCpkXS0GuEFk%3AVDyIylNeVdA

    LOVE the article! I was impressed with the G+ photo albums too but it didnt cross my mind as a replacement for flickr…probably because im not a photographer/ dont use flickr..

  129. Mike Owen says:

    The problem with Flickr is that it is too big. Too many images, too many groups, etc. I still prefer Flickr to Google+. I don’t like how you cannot change the privacy settings of posts retroactively and it is still set up more like a facebook style “posting” blog rather than a serious photo sharing site. As well, I do not like using one company for my photos, blog, and other posts. I prefer seperate entities….Twitter….Flickr….Facebook….that way you can delete one and keep the others.

    To be fair, Thomas Hawk is either working for Google or whoring himself out to them. I find his enthusiasm slightly suspicious. I mean, we are talking about a huge company making tons of money. They do not need help promoting themselves.

  130. Thomas Hawk, you said, “More than one person has told me now, for example, that just leaving comments on one of my photos (as an unknown) results in people adding them. That just is not happening at flickr as far as I know.” That happens to me frequently, still, on Flickr, in the same way it happens here. People see other people who are commenting and will click on their names and if they like what they see, they’ll add them as Contacts on Flickr. Same thing here.

    Because of Google’s TOS, in Google+ I’m now posting only low-res shots (as I do on Flickr), reserving my high-res shots for 500px, which at least has a copyright warning whenever anybody right-clicks on an image.

  131. neil says:

    your link isn’t working Min Eisenberg!

  132. Kelly Smith says:

    Thomas Hawk,
    you have been a vocal hater of Flickr for too long. Just GO AWAY. Go post on Google+ and BE HAPPY! GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

  133. Thomas Hawk says:

    Mike, I’m not working for Google. I’m just a passionate user sharing an opinion.

    The engagement on Google+ simply cannot be beat. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen on any social network ever. When I’m enthused about something I like blogging it. I did the same thing about Flickr back in the day. I even had a weekly podcast Flickrnation devoted to Flickr. I’ve been enthusiastic about many companies that have rolled out over the years. Flickr, Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Buzz. I’ve never worked for any of them. Simply put, Google+ has gotten it right more than anything I’ve seen yet. It’s exciting.

    Granted I’m a power user, but I’ll post a photo and within a half an hour there will be dozens of comments and hundreds of +1’s. I’ve got over twice as many people following my work now on Google+ as I do in Flickr. And I’ve only been on Google+ about 7 weeks while I’ve been on Flickr for 7 years!

    Even non-power users are seeing more engagement on G+ than Flickr (assuming they actually participate and engage on G+). It’s exciting. It’s what social photo sharing is all about.

    Flickr user Billy Wilson joined the site just three days ago. And look at all the +1s and comments he’s already seeing on his photos there.

    https://plus.google.com/105706178492556563330/posts

  134. Thomas Hawk says:

    Oh Kelly Smith. You and I both know there is no “leaving” flickr. It’s a silo. You can’t get your photos and social meta data out.

    Also, why would I leave? I LOVE flickr. I use it every day. I post 50 photos there every single day. I’ve got over 60,000 photos posted to the site. I’ve faved over 100,000 photos there. I’ve got tons of my friends still over there and we need to get them to G+.

    Although my flickr usage has gone way down since I’ve become active on G+, there’s no reason for me to “leave” flickr.

    How about you come and join us on Google+ instead?

    You can love something and still be critical of it. Flickr hasn’t innovated in *forever*! 90 second video clips? That’s innovation? Redesigning your contacts photos page to see the photos bigger? That’s innovation? Changing the Flickr log off page? That’s innovation?

    Come on Flickr. You can do better. Where are circles like Google+ has? Where are my contacts photos by interestingness over the past day, week, month?

    And retaliating against critics by banning them from the Help Forum or blacklisting them from Explore, that’s just chump. And Flickr needs some cheerleaders out there. Blake Irving’s sort of stepped up a little bit, but get Bartz on the program. Who’s leading/runing Flickr these days anyways? Why aren’t they out there banging the drum? Why aren’t they out on photowalks? Where is the community spirit and enthusiasm. It can’t be that bad working for Yahoo.

    Get some of your A Team on Flickr Yahoo. You can do better. Really, you can.

  135. all2505 says:

    I actually think a lot of your arguments are based but I have a question for you: If flickr is dead, as you suggest as a replacement for people who want to keep and save their pictures in original format without compression?

  136. matthew says:

    they serve 2 different purposes

  137. Robin Sayer says:

    Anyone saying this has no idea what Flickr is for.
    Flickr is all about the photographer it’s not a place for someone to throw up snaps.

  138. Alex Cican says:

    If anyone wants Google+ invites, visit my link:
    https://plus.google.com/i/4dONWa_YP1k:FwVvxepspqc

    Awesome post btw!

  139. javier says:

    I don’t know when people started to like google. All google sites and services sucks, everything it’s soo boring, confusing and non intuitive. They have “minimalism” but in a very bad way, looks like a beginner designed their sites; very plain… I wouldn’t call it minimalism.

    Really Google have to close down, it’s very bad. Really don’t know why people started using google, professional? only own domains are professional. And Gmail, supposedly the best email, it’s very slow.
    I know that the search engine it’s good but I really hate the design, it’s very poor.
    And it’s pathetic that google people start promoting… Very dirty marketing.

  140. Bcampi says:

    I just have to say that i like flickr… and yes the way you have the albums and the picts in google+ looks better. it is also true that flickr needs to clean its face… do something new… but google+ photos it is very slow if you compare it with flickr and the way you can choose the privacy in Flickr is much easier + there are a lot of thing that you cant do with google+ yet. so dont say flickr is dead until google+ is rised up.

  141. User99999 says:

    Even though i verified via email verification..google+ wants myphone number..wants to call me to verify as well. sorry that is OTT creepy, bigbrother. I agree about flivkr though..been dead for a while. But the google+ entree is very lame. I’m going to pass.

  142. k says:

    *sigh* more ways to sell yourself to Google. I’m moving over to http://openphoto.me/

  143. Nora says:

    I like to read your articles, they provide an interesting opinion point of view different from mine. Google is scary, I very much dislike seeing adverts from companies/shops I visited in the past on totally unrelated websites I happen to browse on any given day, they are using all search history even if not logged in i.e. without consent. The terms of conditions are outrageous.

    Thank you for this article, I was wondering why google image search results by flickr username got dramatically reduced recently.

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