Wow! Well just when you thought the Tumblr acquisition was the big Yahoo news of the day, Yahoo drops yet another bombshell. All free accounts on Flickr just got upgraded to 1 terabyte of FREE storage!
Yep, you heard that correctly; the Flickr 200 photo limit for free accounts is being done away with. If you’re one of those Flickr users who, in the past, complained about Flickr holding your photos beyond 200 in a free account “hostage,” well, the Navy Seals at Flickr HQ have just set them all free.
Starting today, everyone will be able to upload full high res photos up to 50MB to Flickr for FREE up to 1 terabyte. For the .01% of the population who might store more than a terabyte on Flickr, Flickr will sell you an additional terabyte beyond your free one for $499 per year. So 2 terabytes at Flickr would cost you $499.99/year Flickr’s pricing and limits are here.
By comparison, Google would charge you about $1,199 for 2 terabytes of storage per year and only gives you 15GB of high res storage for free. Facebook doesn’t allow high res photos at all and won’t allow photos larger than 2048px on the site.
While this might sound really great for today’s free account users, it should be noted that the new free 1 TB account will contain advertising. If you want to opt out of advertising on your free account, you will need to pay $49 per year….
you are already an existing Pro account member. While Flickr will no longer offer new Pro accounts, existing Pros will be allowed to keep their Pro account and continue paying $24.95/year for full unlimited high res ad free storage (still the best deal in my opinion).
If a user wants to downgrade from their current paid Pro account today, Flickr will allow them to do this and claim their 1TB free/ad supported account and rebate back the residual remaining value on their Pro account early.
In my opinion, this is a game changer. Just last week at Google I/O, Google upgraded everyone from 5GB of free, high res storage to 15GB of free, high res storage, but upgrading from 15GB to 1TB is quite a leap from there.
Of course, on Google+ there are no ads, and on a 1TB free Flickr account a user would see ads.
You have to love competition in the online photo space and today Flickr is raising the stakes. This will likely put more pressure on Google and Facebook both to consider increasing high res storage for users as well.
While giving all users 1TB of free storage was the biggest news from Flickr today, it is only the beginning.
In addition to offering all users 1TB of free storage, today Flickr also ships their highly anticipated Android app. Many users were super excited late last year when Flickr rolled out their new iPhone app. I reviewed the iPhone app here. Now Flickr is bringing a similar, amazing mobile experience to Android users. I was able to see the new app prior to release and it is truly awesome — I’d say even BETTER than the highly regarded 4.5/5 rated iPhone version — one more reason to switch to Android right?
But there’s more…
In addition to an increase in storage limits and a new Android app, Flickr is also shipping today a complete redesign of the entire site. The new version is amazing and beautiful and full of mosaic walls of photos with infinite scroll everywhere. Gone are the days of tiny little thumbnail results using Flickr image search (my favorite feature in today’s new site redesign). Instead, now you see big, bold images of whatever your looking for.
Sets on Flickr were also given this same facelift. With the old Flickr, the sets page looked the same as it had since as long as I can remember (I joined Flickr in 2004). Sets contained super tiny little teensy weensy thumbnails of square icons for photos. Today’s release showcases photos in sets in much larger format.
The Flickr photo page now shows a giant, oversized version of your photo with just enough basic photo info above the fold on the page to tempt the user into scrolling down for more. The Flickr recent activity stream now shows giant, oversized photos by your contacts and lots of new information.
It really is a whole new Flickr in the best way possible.
Undoubtedly there will be some critics of the new Flickr site, just like there were critics when the automobile came out and some crotchety old folks still wanted to use their horse and buggy. This is, however, in my opinion the single most positive day for innovation being released by Flickr ever.
Last night when digesting all of the Yahoo Tumblr news, I posted on Twitter, Flickr + Tumblr = chocolate + peanut butter. I’m a huge fan of Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and I think that, in addition to this Flickr news today, future innovation coming from Tumblr and the Tumblr team will only be positive for Flickr. Already, I get the most viral views on my Flickr photos from Tumblr more than any other site. By deepening the Flickr/Tumblr integration, this will create even more synergy for Yahoo.
Maybe instead of titling this post “Holy Mash Potatoes Batman,” I should have titled it “How Yahoo got its Groove Back” — because with what’s gone on there over the past 24 hours, I’d say Yahoo, once again, is a power player in social media.
There is still work at Flickr that needs to be done — groups (now rebranded communities) still need a refresh, for example — but after failing to innovate for years, Yahoo is showing the world that Flickr is indeed super important to their company and that photos are very important to a biggr, boldr, more beautiful Yahoo going forward. Yahoo is investing heavily in Flickr (they are hiring), the first Yahoo CEO ever has an actual active Flickr account, and staff morale feels super high. Flickr VP Brett Wayn and Flickr Head of Product Markus Spiering, are leading the charge, backed by strong commitment from senior management and an enthusiastic all-star team who is pushing out the most significant innovation we’ve seen at Flickr yet.
Congrats to the Flickr team on a wonderful release today. More from Markus on the Flickr Blog here.