There’s Some Mighty Pissed Off Flickr Members Right Now

Taken From the Flickr Blog Announcing the Yahoo Acquistion, March 2005
Taken from the Flickr Blog announcing Yahoo’s acquisition, March 2005

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

Update #1: I just tried to add The Searcher as a contact on Flickr. I’ve been impressed with some of his insights in forums in the past and got the following message from Flickr:

“”Add The Searcher as a contact?

Slow down there buddy…

You have reached the limit for the number of contacts a user can have. To add another contact, you must first get your total number of contacts under 3,000. Right now you have 5,082 contacts.

Return to The Searcher’s profile.”

Update #2: The SmugMug blog is offering a 50% special discount for Flickr users that want to migrate over there.

Limiting your most active users from further social networking on a social networking site is the most idiotic thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Flickr needs to reverse the asinine decisions made today to force people to merge their accounts with Yahoo and to place new limits on your contacts and tags.

Here are some of the more interesting comments pulled over the past few hours from two flickr forums where they are taking a beating over this right now.

People are pissed.

It looks like I’ll also be forced to drop about 2,000 of my contacts at Flickr. If I drop you and your are a Thomas Hawk reader please know that I’m sorry, that I was forced to do it and that it’s not personal.

On with the quotes (note, some of these contain offensive language):

“I’m sure that the Flickr staff love their creation. But they love the big fat check that Yahoo gave to them much more. They didn’t make Flickr as a labor of love, they made it hit the startup lottery (which they did, admirably I might add). That doesn’t mean that they don’t care about their creation, but don’t kid yourselves into thinking that because you helped build it by being early adopters and advocates that they really care about you. This is clearly about money; saving money on maintenance, and making money off of advertising.”

bkusler: “seriously. this wasn’t rocket science. you guys just fucked this up.

the early adopters are all “key influencers” — how many of the “nuskool” ppl do you think we signed up? duhh…”

justj: I think after being here all night, this is really close to how I’m feeling… The shift in ‘tone’ really hit home, that this will never again be the flickr we joined in the beginning

Troy McClure SF: “In short, I don’t want a Yahoo! account. I’ve been there, been burned, and I’m done with the company. Whether that rational of me or not, it’s the truth. I don’t want Yahoo, and that should be my choice.”

Vidiot: “I guess what I find jarring is the shift in tone, even if it is but an infinitesimal one. Today marks the first time that to me, Flickr has ever felt like something less than that community I bought into (literally), and more like a service I pay for. And that’s a sad realization.”

Striatic: “thomas hawk also makes a good point” Hi Stri, I couldn’t resist putting that one in there. 😉

“I’m payed up till 2008 enjoy the rest of the money Flickr I will truly miss you. You were a fantastic photo shairing site. “

Ravages: “But suddenly – this merging thing. I am afraid that after the 15th, I might have to look out for other places to post photos to. I will be sad to lose my flickr friends and my flickr communities, but I don’t want to see them replaced by a Yahoo community.

Bad move, staff of flickr “

Quote: “I wonder if flickr were aware quite how tainted the brand is when they signed on the dotted line.”

Striatic: “i suspect that they were aware of this, but assumed that yahoo’s reputation would really improve in the following two years.

they were wrong.”

Shining Example:
“I find myself idly wondering whether yahoo are aware of this massive image problem they have, and if so, whether they care, and what they intend to do about it…”

astilly: “i’m more and more disappointed in flickr these days… i’m pretty sure i won’t be renewing my pro account this year.”

Eric in SF:
“I just don’t trust Yahoo! and do not want their marketing droids using my personal info.

Sorry, Stewart, but my love (platonic!) and admiration for you and the team is just not enough to compensate for my feelings towards Yahoo!”

Merkley: “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.” (I had to put that one in there because Merkley called us handsome and talented).

“hey, there is a slogan I can get behind: Mcflickr! It says so much to the corporatization of a once beautiful site. It is only because I, and many others, felt such kinship with the little boat that could float once known as flickr has sold its soul to a marketing mess that we bother to waste our time tilting at windmills hoping the tide can be reversed and we can return to the wonderful, truly great entity that was our flickr.”

“I think this is one of the worst things you’ve done. Your job is to do everything in your power to make our life in flickr easier and more fun, even if it makes your job harder, this is way it’s a great site and why I’m willing to pay rather than just using one of the free services outhere.

Anyway, as I said I’m not so happy with flickr anymore, is there an option to download all my pictures in one go (as a zip or something) so I can migrate rather than merge?

It’s a shame that it turn to that by I guess most good things come to an end. I do think that if you force all these changes you should have the decency to allow your old skool members (the same people that made you attractive to yahoo in the first place, when this was st
ill an alfa and beta site) to download all the stuff they have and move on.”

greenteaphoto: “This is ridiculous…. a limit on the number of contacts to help performance of the site?? Why not cache results of certain queries once a day and rely on the cached results instead? I agree with other commenters… Flickr is ALL about networking… with a limit on that it makes no sense whatsoever… So what am I supposed to do if/when i reach the limit? Start deleting old contacts?

what’s gonna happen next? Google will say that we can open only 200 emails a day? MSN will tell us that we can’t do more than 1000 messages a day? Google allowing only 500 searches a day?

Come on… “

mr_phillip: I just want to put on record how utterly crap I think this forced merge is. I don’t care at all that I’m loosing some kind of old-skool-cool – I’m the only person who knew how I logged in so how is that cool anyway?

What really pisses me off is Yahoo’s God-awful ID setup. It took me over an hour this morning to set up an ID, mostly because every name I tried was taken – including random letters I got by hitting the keyboard in frustration. So now I’m stuck with a username I didn’t want, can’t change, don’t like, and won’t remember.

mkelley: “Because of this move I probably won’t re-up my Pro account. I’ve been with you guys since GNE days and the Move to Yahoo wasn’t exactly a fav. I try not to signup for Yahoo Microsoft “passport” type accounts and this is just one more move that has me saying “enough is enough”.

Mike Kelley”

RajParmer: “I do not like the way Yahoo impose in this manner. I am an old skool member (which I was in a way quite proud of) but when it becomes mandatory to sign up to Yahoo, I will have to delete all my pics and close my account down and join with one of the other similar services on the net. A shame really, I really liked Flickr (more so before it was disgraced by Yahoo).”

lloydj: “Many, many, many companies also block access to well known webmail clients, and this often extends to other services, hence Yahoo! Mail, Google Mail, Hotmail are *all* blocked. If the sign-on has to go through Yahoo! rather than via on the domain, then that’ll shut out a lot of people.”

mattg: “this sucks.”

the O-ster:
“my account (luckily) expires tomorrow :)HOORAY!”

“bye bye flickr. kind of like saying goodbye to a first love girlfriend, it’s really tough, but from my experience relationships I know that the next one is always better”

Paul York: “I am so unhappy with this. Again I’ll be forced to sign up to a host of shitty services and no-doubt get spammed with “marketing” mail.

I’ll have to pick some random series of charaters and numbers just to get my “new shinny” id – I may be able to log in easily first time and save the session but in a few months time on a diffrent pc or if I delete my cookies I’ll be left thinking now what was I called “Y!ShitName12Z1XY3” Oh yes – just rolls of the tongue!

Sooooo un-happy. “

If you are disappointed in today’s news as well, feel free to digg it here.

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  1. Chris Nixon says:

    ….to add to this there seems to be no available user names that are in any way meaningful to me.

    all the best….chgyerwiqs

  2. Eagle says:

    I have admired Flickr since the beginning because I love photography. Flickr was the first thing I really felt like a community of value for me because of its people and because of freedom. It also was the first service ever I seriously considered paying for. Then came limits to free accounts and madness. I’m sorry because I still love it. Now I’ve gote one of those “Pro for life” free accounts and I could not be happier.

    Thomas, Chris, thanx for Zooomr. I’m so sorry nothing can be perfect, Flickr once was damn close.

  3. Fyodor says:

    I’ve questioned your viewpoints in the past. You are, admittidly, a Zoomr shill. I think, however, this is it. Flickr just put on their Henry Winkler facepaint and just jumped a Martha’s Bay great white shark.

    Fuck ’em.

  4. Raoul says:

    Stating the obvious, but it looks like what’s happening is “G’bye Flickr, hello Zooomr”. Interesting stuff! Thanks for being there with Zooomr, Kris, Tom! (On a related note, why would Flickr shoot itself in the foot like this?)

  5. Raoul says:

    Fyodor, Tom hasn’t (yet) been paid for being CEO of Zooomr, so technically speaking, you can’t call him a shill. Just sayin’…

  6. Jimmy says:

    It seems Flickr doesn’t want to cater to the hardcore photo geek anymore. The limits they’re setting may not affect the average Flickr user, but all the early-adopters and Flickr fanatics who have spent days if not months and years building a community will get screwed. It’s a shame Flickr feels they’re making things better when in reality, they’ve alienated the people that made them great. I guess that just means we need a new photosharing site that worries more about the community and less about the bottom line. Can anyone make any recommendation? Anyone?? 🙂

  7. laceyfelix says:

    I think that if Kristopher and Thomas can double their efforts to expedite the process of rolling out Zooomr Mark III to coincide with this Flickr debacle, that they could parlay that into Gaining memberships from former Flickr devotees. There has never been a better opportunity to do so. I think though, in order to be a viable alternative that Zooomr has to beef up the “community” aspect at Zooomr to be a viable alternative. It seems to me, as a non-paid member of Flickr, that community is what it is really all about. I sincerely hope they take advantage of this golden opportunity and whip Flickr’s ass. From an admitted Zooomr fan! Goodluck Gentlemen!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sooooo, no offense but if you are CEO at Zooomr, why are you even on Flickr? Go make your photo sharing community something people might actually want to use instead of bashing the competition to try and make yourself look better. And digging your own post? For shame, for shame.

  9. Keith says:

    what is the difference…i dont understand. Who cares if you use a yahoo or a flickr account???

    you still get a flickr username…

    people just like to complain

  10. Hey Anonymous,

    What’s wrong with digging his own post if he feels it will be of genuine interest to a broad spectrum of readers?

    If he were digging a link with some kind of a sales agenda I could see your point, but this isn’t spam — it’s part of a discussion.

    Self-digging will not earn you hairy palms.

    Cheeseburger Brown
    Free, original storytelling!

  11. Anonymous says:


  12. adam says:

    Thomas has always been very open about disclosing his Zoomr relationship. But is Raoul really suggesting that Hawk gets no compensation from Zoomr? I think in most cases stock options will be considered some sort of compensation — does Hawk have no investment in Zoomr?

    (Not sure we need a response from Thomas Hawk here, mostly doubting Raoul’s claim.)

    In general, as a long-time Flickr user (and old-skooler) I don’t really think the changes are a big deal. The transition that forced users into Yahoo accounts has been coming for a long time and I don’t think anyone at Flickr ever disguised their intentions that eventually a change would be necessary.

    And the tags and contacts limits seem manageable for sure. I do think limiting the number of tags could have an eventual impact on how machine tags are employed and utilized by API developers.

    I wonder, how many users really have more than 3000 contacts or how many pictures have more than 75 tags?

  13. blong says:

    Hi Folks,

    I work for Yahoo in a recently acquired company. On behalf of Flickr, I must say a few things:

    Talking about fat paychecks is unfair. Flickr teamed with Yahoo because of what they could then offer in terms of scale, reliability, resources for features, etc. The Flickr members were king, and the community was top priority in their decision to join Yahoo. Since joining Yahoo, Flickr has continued to fight for their community, more than anyone guesses, I’m sure.

    As everyone knows, Yahoo recently reorg’d. Part of the reason for the reorg was to adjust the system in an effort to streamline efficiencies. Flickr was neck deep fighting for their friends (and getting results) in a company where the head didn’t know what the ass was doing. Thank you Flickr.

    Now in 2007, Flickr is part of Yahoo, and is helping Yahoo become (in many ways spearheading) a company for the people, and their passions. Flickr and Yahoo are releasing new services that require technical integrations that are above and beyond anything currently being discussed.

    Personally understanding the uphill battles the folks at Flickr fight in order to protect their community, I know anything they’re doing now is in the interest of the community, and not because of a paycheck. Paychecks are important, but not as important as some things.

    The Flickr community who is up in arms would do well to embrace and trust Flickr, as they are the ones who Flickr fights so hard for.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh good lord, with all the crying going on, you’d think something bad might have happened. It isn’t like flickr is shutting down or anything. 75 TAGS!?!? People actually have photos with more than 75 tags? Sounds like a composition problem to me. I can see the guy who has got that one photo down to like 78 tags and he’s at the end of his rope trying to figure out 3 tags to take out…

    To those who are so upset about having to 86 some of your THOUSANDS of contacts: Maybe you could exchange email addys and drop them all a note when you get settled in your new place….or there is this thing called the real world where people network and make contacts by actually meeting. I know it’s crazy talk, but it worked for a couple thousand years prior to the internets.

    75 tags? Seriously?

  15. greywulf says:

    Hey Thomas, I wonder why zoomr is so incredibly, unusably, painfully slow right now 🙂

    Oh, and I agree about the snap preview things. Please kill ’em dead. They’re just pointless and annoying.

  16. laceyfelix says:

    GOOD point Greywulf…Zooomr IS painfully slow today for some reason. Grrrr!

  17. TranceMist says:

    This has got to be about the biggest crying game I’ve ever seen, whipped up largely by YOU Thomas!

    I’m a big fan of your photos and (obviously) read your blog regularly. Usually I think you do the right thing and do it well. But this is ridiculous. Slap Yahoo all you want because you compete with their Flickr with your Zooomr.

    I’ve read a ton of the comments in the actual forum you point to and the ones you chose to highlight are the very extreme.

    The limits seem very reasonable to me. Who the hell needs 3,000 contacts, let alone more? Maybe you and the guy with 19,000 have an ego thing going on, maybe not. However, it’s not what I would consider “reasonable” or “normal”. I can only imagine teenyboppers on MySpace wanting that many.

    Tag Limits: so what? Focus on useful tags.

    Re: Flickr vs. Yahoo ID.
    I can see this as a legitimate complaint, but only from the point of view that you’re forced to use a different login name and may lose the one you’ve got. However, your identity on Flickr remains the same.

    Get over it.

    I could go on and on whining about all of the things I find annoying about Zooomr, like it constantly nags me to do things. Let alone that it looks like such a blatant rip off of Flickr.

    Now, if you really want to do something about it. Use the Flickr API to create a way for people to quickly migrate their entire portfolio to Zooomr. Tags, notes, geotags and all.

    But stop whining.

    P.S. get rid of those stupid Snap hover pop-ups. They’re annoying as hell.

  18. Jonathan says:

    yeah kill that snap preview.

  19. Critique says:

    You jealous, jealous boy.

    You just can’t admit flickr is MUCH better than Zooomr.
    Nah, I’m just kidding, there’s really no comparison when one talks about flickr.

    And diggin’ your own post?
    Zooomr sucks.

  20. Anonymous says:

    1) Yep, Flickr sucks.
    2) Kill the previews.

  21. greywulf says:

    Ummm… nope.

    I understand that Thomas is coming at this from the pov of a very active flickr user and fan. He’s not in the business of dissing flickr at all folks. If you think that, you’ve clearly never read the good things he’s said in the past.

    This hasn’t been started by Thomas or is a “smear campaign” at all. If you think that, you’re sadly mistaken.

    Check out Flick off, the long and ongoing group on Flickr itself against these changes.

    Enough false and misplaced criticism, already.

  22. Maia says:

    Maybe Game Neverending will come back now…

  23. jayoh says:

    nice attempt at some fud.

  24. Geeklover says:

    I loved you flickr but when you married Money bag Yahoo , you started behaving weird . You started ignoring me. I am leaving you …I am going to .

  25. Zooomr is kinda ugly … you might want to fix that before pushing it too much. The fonts are too large, and the overall appearance is FAR too cluttered for my tastes. Use Flickr as an example … very clean, non-intrusive interface. I would pay for a good service from Zooomr.

  26. John S says:

    Put me down as one Flickr user who thinks that this is No Big Deal.

    For starters, who didn’t see this coming? Did you think Yahoo bought Flickr because they all wanted free Flickr accounts? No! They want to tie Flickr to Yahoo and make it part of their advertising revenue stream. Yes, I’m sure there will be advertising on Flickr eventually, hopefully just for the free accounts.

    Secondly, I just did the “merge” and it was effortless. Granted, I already had a yahoo account. What worried me the most was that my Flickr homepage name would change thus requiring me to send new URLs to all my friends, make changes to web sites and blogs, etc. But that didn’t happen.

    Lastly, I’m surprised they didn’t have a limit on contacts before. How many people need more than 3000 contacts? Thomas Hawk and…no one.

  27. TranceMist says:

    Re: “Zooomr is kinda ugly …

    That’s what really hit me when I went to check it out. Very cluttered. Constantly throwing stuff up in your face that it wants you to try.

    Thomas – you complain that Flickr pushes you to Broadway Photo via Yahoo! Shopping. And maybe there’s a distinction there because that’s a 3rd party site of ill repute. However, Zooomr is equally blatant about pushing itself. Overall it makes for a less pleasant (visually) experience than Flickr.

    You do indeed have some very nice new features that Flickr doesn’t. But overall, Zooomr feels more like fork of Flickr so you can add features more quickly, and yet very heavy on the marketing. The latter seems ironic, since that’s what you accuse Flickr of doing when getting closer to Yahoo.

  28. TranceMist says:

    If you have trouble remembering passwords for websites, use the Password Manager in Firefox, get SplashID, or 1Passwd if you’re on a Mac.

  29. Anonymous says: says that there is no limit on the number of contacts. that was fast

  30. Anonymous says:

    by the way, i love zoomr. it would be really awesome if i could have either gmail or yahoo integration. one login, way better!

  31. Marc Moss says:

    (comments originally posted on Digg.)

    As a former “Old Skool” user of Flickr with a Pro account, I was originally upset about the announcement as well. I made the change. Yes, it was a PITA generating a decent Yahoo! username, but after several attempts, I had one to my liking. Allow me to address some of the concerns Diggers have been presenting.

    As inajeep (on Digg) points out, “Nothing else on your account or experience of Flickr changes: you can continue to have your FlickrMail and notifications sent to any email address at any domain and your screenname will remain the same.”

    –(from the Flickr Mail sent to my Gmail account.)

    So I made the switch, although grudgingly.

    1. My Flickr screename remained unchanged
    2. All of my contacts continued to display (applies to friends/family as well)
    3. I continued to display as a contact for those who have me listed as one of their contacts (applies to friends/family as well)
    4. I can choose to have my primary email be through any provider I want, not necessarily my Yahoo! account
    5. All of my Groups remained intact
    6. All of the comments that I’ve made on others’ photos remained intact
    7. Notes remained intact
    8. Comments others have made on my photos remained intact
    9. My Sets remained intact

    In summary, as was promised by Flickr, my user experience has not changed.

    As far as limited numbers of tags and contacts, that does not affect me directly. 3,000 contacts? Can’t you be more choosy regarding whom you add? 😉

  32. engtech says:

    What *I* love is how I can’t use my actual yahoo ID that I use everywhere else because I made the mistake of tying it to a temporary Flickr account I was playing with for a weekend years ago.

    And you can’t unlink/delete it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dudes, relax.

    First off, flickr is obviously a labor of love. If you want to see what a site that isn’t looks like, you have options (

    I’m a flickr user. And no, this stuff isn’t going to affect me because I already have a yahoo! id, don’t have over 2000 contacts or 75 tags to a single image. But you know what? These are minor minor things anyway. And you old skool flickr photogs have your heads up your entitled asses.

    The free account going up to 100MB was big. And they are obviously dealing important infrastructure stuff right now. And as someone who knows what small-scale web development entails, I can only imagine in my darkest nightmares the magnitude of maintaining and upgrading a site like this. Sometimes you have to cut legacy stuff when it’s just not worth the resources.

  34. kosso says:

    I’ve been in touch with Kris today, to see what immediate steps can be taken.

    Also, set up a script to help people move away. 😉

  35. stuart says:

    Hi Thomas,

    I agree with you – I’m not happy with these changes, and I posted this on my blog too.

    Unfortunately, Zooomr uses an even more complex login system and forces everyone to use the OpenID system which is based on the same principals as the Yahoo! ID, i.e. single login for multiple websites. (The Google login is even worse too)

    What is wrong with a website providing its user with a personal username and password???

    Cheers – Stuart.

  36. Anonymous says:

    You can always use

  37. laceyfelix says:

    As I stated earlier, this is a golden opportunity to capture a bigger share of the market. If building Zooomr into what they want it to be is top priority then they will make this happen by deploying Mark III. I hope M3 addresses several if not all of the issues that have been raised today and in the past regarding where Zooomr is currently at. In an email to Kristopher I , for one, stated that I would pay for the service provided some of the features I need get added. I have heard some encouraging things in Kristopher’s video blogs and interviews. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed they pull the trigger at the best time. Another one of my concerns is that when Zooomr gains in popularity it will meet the same fate as Flickr anyhow, they will sell the company and just slowly degrade too. Who knows…

  38. TranceMist says:

    Re: “Another one of my concerns is that when Zooomr gains in popularity it will meet the same fate as Flickr anyhow

    They have a long way to go.

    Here’s a quote from Thomas on one Fickr’s forums about the size of Zooomr:

    Our servers are getting absolutely slammed this morning with people trying to sign up for Zooomr. We hope to be back up shortly. Bear with us. We are just a two man team with only six severs and one developer/engineer. We obviously will continue increasing our architecture as we grow.

    Six server and one engineer.

    Not exactly what I would consider a mission-critical operation to move my pictures to, just yet.

  39. Connie says:

    I switched immediately last night with an existing Yahoo account (hardly ever used) and agree this is much ado about nothing. My write-up is here on my blog.

    One added benefit of the switch I just discovered: I could never log onto my Flickr account from my office computer because of something in the securities setting on the network which I couldn’t override. Now with the Yahoo ID I can get in. Dare I say it? Yup: yahoo!!! Now I can start using my personal photos in some of my professional projects. Or vice versa, depending upon how that there user agreement reads. 😉

  40. TranceMist says:


    This great tip from Lifeblog about how to disable those annoying Snap previews that Thomas has.

  41. Anonymous says:

    So the CEO of zooomr is writing articles about how bad the service of a competitor is, and submitting it to Digg hoping no one will notice. And on top of that you’ve got plenty of zooomr shills posting about how happy they are about their service…on the CEO’s blog.

    Nice try, asshole. I wouldn’t even consider using your product now, you’re an underhanded, slimy lizard of a human being.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Flickr user, and I’m quite happy with things even after the change-over. It really wasn’t that bad.

    In fact, Thomas, I think you’re probably dramaticizing the issue because it’s in your financial interest to do so. You’re running a rip-off of a popular site (Flickr/zooomr…wonder where you thought that name up?), and you’re trying every underhanded trick in the book to sway people in your direction.

    I refuse to use any product developed by you or your associates, and I will encourage all of my friends on Flickr to do the same.

  43. Paul says:

    Did you not remember when you first made your flickr account? There was a notice saying that by this date you will have to merge to a Yahoo! account – it told me that over a year ago. You’ve had a year to change, why are you getting all pissy now?

  44. Thomas, since you clearly feel strongly about this issue, and you are the CEO of Zooomr, would you be willing to go on record making the following pledge:

    Should Zooomr ever be acquired by another company, the terms of that acquisition will guarantee that Zooomr logins will not be merged and/or otherwise replaced with any login system[s] operated by the acquiring company for its Web sites or applications.


  45. TranceMist says:

    LOL! jason good one!

  46. Paul says:

    This cracks me up. Other than that most power of power users, these changes affect basically no one, and enable Flickr/Yahoo to finally start getting their act together.

    And of course there’s no mention that Zooomr makes you use a universal ID as well. I’ve been a member or Zooomr for ages, and I haven’t been able to link my google account to openid – EVER.

    For all of you Zooomr advocates: Flickr was once an indie outfit like Zooomr is now, and you’re lambasting it for selling out to Yahoo. What do you suppose will be the final destination of Zooomr? They’ll sell out eventually too, and the “leaders” like the CEO spouting off here will make a ton of money. Wonder how hard they’ll fight for infinite tagging then.

    This is much ado about nothing. It’s called doing business – deal with it.

  47. laceyfelix says:

    I am going to be very interested to see what Thomas has to say to all of this because he has a job and a family and kids and hasn’t had a chance to defend his position. I believe it has been blown out of proportion. Granted, when you are the CEO of a competitor you have to watch your p’s an q’s when speaking in public. He DOES have a right to speak his mind as a paying customer of Flickr so we have to get of his ass about that. Its a free country.
    Another point, Zooomr using the openid login is kind of a bone of contention to me in light of his comments regarding this whole login debocle with Yahoo (as far as I understand this is changing in M3) For those who are using this as an opportunity to pile on and bash Zooomr, just remember Flickr started somewhere also and wasnt perfect right out of the gate. You have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk. My 2 cents!

  48. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t the first time yahoo has done this to an acquisition. When yahoo acquired rocketmail several years back they irrevocably killed all rocketmail accounts that didn’t get a login for 3 months. I tried to contact yahoo and begged them to let me get the contents of my inbox, which had several years of email correspondence and contact info for some old friends. They never responded to my emails. They didn’t want to maintain the domain anymore so they used this inconsiderate approach to save resources.

    I did migrate over to a yahoo account at their behest but it didn’t contain any of my old emails. I don’t trust them with my personal correspondence anymore.

    If anyone at yahoo sees this and can still help me recover the contents or as it later became, contact me at pallicka at yahoo.

  49. drew olanoff says:

    let it begin. its time to switch. why yahoo waited so long to do this astounds me, it has obviously been their plan since day 1. i’m coming over to zooomr to do serious exploration now. i JUST got into flickr and now this. bastards.

  50. Anonymous says:


  51. james says:

    No photo needs more than 75 tags. No one can keep track of 3000 contacts. If you can, go to myspace. The merging has been known for two year, and you’re crying now?

    If you thought flicker was a community more than a paid service you are either a fool or an idiot.

    Make your choice.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Well it’s a good thing Webshots is around, this Flickr crap is bull.

  53. I’m going to switch my email address over (because I don’t give a shit) and I don’t care about the tag thing because I never use more than ten tags anyways!

  54. Anonymous says:

    I adore my Flickr.

    She’s comin over at eight.

    It’s absolutely VITAL to remain stupid at this time.

    Thank you for your cooperation.


    Sir Charles”platypus” Flapjack

  55. Anji says:

    Uhm, I’ve been using Flickr through a Yahoo account since I joined over a year ago. Not once have I seen the Yahoo logo anywhere, not once have I received any communication whatsoever from Yahoo. In fact I forget that Yahoo has anything to do with it until someone reminds me!kjvhl

  56. SoSu says:

    do people know you copied their posts from flickr help?

  57. A says:

    Flickr Policy Police is TEH suck. I got booted off after being a paid customer for two years because i had the guts to confront a majorly harassing user. The place has gone down the drain since being acquired.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of how you feel about Flickr’s changes, I can’t help but notice how bad this makes the Flickr community look. I just hope I don’t run into any of them on the street…

    Also, I know that you’re a passionate Flickr user, and so you’re allowed to share some of these concerns. However, being in charge of a competing service irrevocably taints the validity of that opinion. Please realize that this makes you look worse than you realize.

  59. Anonymous says:

    (I’m a Flickr pro user and a fairly regular reader of Thomas Hawk’s Blog and watcher of his Photowalks with Robert Scoble.)

    I just want to address the people questioning Thomas motives for complaining about Flickr.

    Sure he’s heavily involved in a competing site.

    But the thing is that Thomas is really heavily in to social networking and photography. Especially considering it’s not his main source of income. If you have read his blog for a while you’d know that. To have to sit down and carefully remove 2082 contacts in Flickr without accidentally removing “real” contacts will be a lot of work for him. Obviously this change in Flickr has a large affect on him personally.

    Obviously his motive may be double, both personal and professional with Zoomr, but at least he’s open with it on line 1 of the post. You’re free to stop reading after that line. There’s no need telling everyone he’s affiliated or biased with Zooomr, it’s open for everyone to see and judge. Almost none of you others state why your voice is more important or believable.

    So please stick to the real subject wether these changes are bad or necessary evil.

    Personally I think Flickr would do well to communicate their reasoning behind these decisions in more detail since a visible part of the community is taking offense.

  60. ian says:

    There are significant changes in the Terms of Service (see sect 9), allowing Yahoo to use my pictures on their sites – this one for example [] – without payment and to add value to those sites. So far as I am aware I never agreed to that and I object to it being applied retrospectively.

    If anyone is going to ‘monetize’ my pics I want it to be me…

  61. Anonymous says:

    You know what is funnier? Just about the time you wrote this post, zooomr was down! For over more than 2 hours..

  62. I have nowhere near 3,000 contacts so I doubt this is ever going to affect me. But I can see it being extremely annoying for those of you who do.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Thomas is a corporate shill, plain and simple. They know they can’t compete with Flickr (look at the amount of downtime on zooomr recently, supposedly a “superior” service).

    And of course, he’s refused to address any suggestions to that fact, because he knows that it’s true. He’s running a smear campaign against Flickr to try and gain users. It’s glaringly obvious, been pointed out by numerous users (fyodor included, who I have a great deal more respect for), and in extremely bad taste.

    Word of advice, Thomas; if you expect people to switch over to your service, you might want to drop the underhanded tactics. As of now I wouldn’t sign up for your service if you paid -me- for it.

  64. Thomas Hawk says:

    Thomas is a corporate shill, plain and simple. They know they can’t compete with Flickr (look at the amount of downtime on zooomr recently, supposedly a “superior” service).

    Anonymous. I have been one of the most active Flickr users since the early days. I guarantee you I have spent more time inside participating in the Flickr Community than you have and I don’t even know who you are.

    Simply because I’m choosing to work on Zooomr now (for which I receive no salary and have yet to see a dime — in fact I’ve funded it’s growth out of my own pocket) does not somehow “require” me not to express my opinions about Flickr on my own blog (or elsewhere for that matter).

    I said plenty of negative things about Flickr before I ever joined Zooomr. Just ask anyone who used to hang out in the Flickr Central Forum who used to listen to me blather on over and over and over again about trackbacks.

    I have also said plenty of positive things about Flickr since joining Zooomr. My review on their geotagging was headlined under the title “Pretty Damn Impressive”. Just last week I wrote a post on the 10 best Flickr Hacks praising Flickr for their Open API (one of my most trafficked pieces of all time).

    I use Flickr every single day, I’ve got thousands of my own photos up on the site, I’ve spent hours and hours and hours commenting and participating in numerous groups. I’ve favorited over 18,000 photos there. I admin groups there. I’ve been quoted by the mainstream press about them. I’ve been featured in books about them.

    So now that I decide to work with Zooomr you want to tell me that I can’t write about Flickr any more on my own personal blog. Anonymous I’d say that you can go screw yourself on that one. If you don’t want to read my thoughts on Flickr feel free not to read my blog.

    I plan on participating in Flickr for the rest of my life. Maybe at some point they will really screw something up that will change this, but bottom line is I love the site. But while I’m participating I’ll be blogging about it — that’s just what I do.

    And when they do something like tell me that I’m going to have to dump 40% of my contacts, something that very personally affects me you’d better be damned sure I’ll be getting upset about that.

    As to my affiliation with Zooomr by the way. I do make sure to prominently disclose that both on my blog overall, on my Flickr profile and with every post where I think that there might be some sensitivity to the fact that while I love Flickr I also think a better way of photo sharing can still be built.

    But people that know me know that I was just as vocal, just as passionate, just as positive and just as critical about Flickr both before I joined Zooomr and after.

    Hundreds of bloggers blog about their competitors. Jeremy Zawodny tried to pull this shit before when I dare brought attention to the fact that Yahoo! COO Dan Rosenweig was talking about the monetization of Flickr in a Yahoo earnings conference call — in many ways a precursor to some of the pain that so many are upset about today. And yet Jeremy blogs about Google all the time.

    This is personal weblog Pal. People value my opinion on Flickr because I’ve spent more time figuring the thing out than just about anyone outside of Flickr itself.

    I’ll blog about whatever the hell I want.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Why couldn’t zooomr think of their own naming convention? Why wouldn’t everyone think of them of a rip-off of flickr, if their name is zooomr!?

    I’m going to shootr myselfr next time-r i seer a site ending with R!

  66. Rich says:

    That third guy you hire for Zooomer should be a UI designer. I signed up for zooomer, but the UI design seems to be lacking something.

  67. Legodude522 says:

    Quit bitching. Flickr is great. I’ve been a user for a long time. It’s better to use Yahoo ID. Makes sense.

  68. TranceMist says:

    Even /. is carrying a story that ends with a comment that Thomas Hawk, CEO of a competitive service is leading the complaining.

    Thomas – whatever your motiviations, I think the point is that by working for (paid or not) for a competitive offering you have lost the luxury of the presumption of being unbias.

    This is one of those scenarios where perception becomes reality, and you now (through your affiliation with Zooomr) live in a different world than before.

  69. Anonymous says:

    You go ahead and blog about “whatever the hell you want,” Thomas. It’s perfectly obvious to everyone what you’re up to, and your anger is proof positive as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m glad that Slashdot has exposed your bias to a wider audience. It’s time to expose to the world the scumbag you are.

    Blog that, asshole.

  70. Chris says:

    Dear Anonymous,
    In what way is your obivous bias on Thomas’ person any better than the one you alledge he has against Flickr.

    And also, Thomas is pointing out by himself that he indeed does have an alternate affiliation that may affect the reader’s perception of his writing. So of course it is “obvious to everyone” what he is up too. Your (“Anonymous”) affiliation and credibility is completely hidden behind your anonymous cowardice. You may very well be the owner of another competing site or work for Flickr. Or just hate Thomas personally.

    Too bad for you. You could propably get somewhere by directing your engergy towards producing stuff instead of just complaining. There must be something else you’re good at than trolling.

  71. Paul says:

    Is this controversy ahead of the “big release” of MarkIII? hehe.

    Tell your programmers to get busy before you attract new eyes next time…..

    So many improvements promised for so long.

    I like your blog and respect your opinion and writing on a lot of things, this might not be one of them.

    I just moved from zooomr to Flickr myself.

    This reminds me of the complaints about flickr’s “closed” API. I know you were talking about commercial API. But for personal users, it took me under 5 minutes to get my Flickr API key, never managed to get one from zooomr. I wouldn’t have needed one so bad if zooomr had managed to read my iView MediaPro metadata (Flickr reads it just fine).

    Why no organizer on zooomr? it’s such a pain to process one file at a time. Why the HUGE filesizes for the previews? they are 2-3 times (at the LEAST) what they need to be. Why no “real” sets? Why no groups? etc etc. I know stuff is promised, but it’s been promised for a long time.

  72. Anonymous says:

    jeebus, what a bunch of whiners.

    some people seem to treat the number of contacts as some kind of pissing contest, 5082 is just excessive, I bet you only keep in regular contact with less than 10% of those.

  73. rannie says:

    You may want to check your quotes, someone mistakenly read your “photojunkie” quote and thought I was leaving flickr… After reviewing the threads you mentioned you are actually quoting “photojunky”

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  76. erica says:

    i totally HATE flickr! not only is it so HARD TO USE, looks SO UGLY, they’re NOT NICE!

    i moved there from yahoo and they gave me this free pro account..for a while, and then after the pro account expired, all my photos are locked in their system away from me unless i pay them! i feel totally cheated because the free pro account is A TRAP!

    free account is limited to 3 sets and 200 photos which is TOTALLY USELESS SHIT!

    i hate flickr.

  77. […] Hawk, the CEO of rival site Zooomr, has rounded up some of the negativity towards the move. Obviously if Zooomr or other photo sharing sites […]

  78. […] Thomas Hawk has done a great job rounding up the members reactions. Flickr needs to reverse the asinine decisions made today to force people to merge their accounts with Yahoo and to place new limits on your contacts and tags. […]

  79. […] Yahoo is in trouble […]

  80. […] Sorry, we can’t. If you want some secret hints: Take a look at what we discuss internally and compare it with our predictions: Yahoo is in trouble […]

  81. […] content for you, and advertise your site through word of mouth, it can also work against you. Piss off the community (even over a matter that’s pretty minor) and you’re more succeptible to the effects, […]

  82. […] of photosharing site Zooomr, Thomas Hawk is taking Flickr to task for the changes they announced […]

  83. Sammy Dee says:

    My flickr ‘Pro-Account’ was deleted after less than a week. To say I was pissed off would be putting it oh so mildly. ALL of my photos were marked with the correct safety settings. NO reason or warning was given. One minute I’m there next I’m deleted.

    Am taking legal action. Yes, I’m that pissed off. I’ve demanded I be reinstated or my money reimbursed.

    Flickr, you have no idea of the bad publicity I’m about to create. Idiots.

  84. […] Synopsis: Flickr is taking a beating in two key forums right now over their decision today to force “old skool” flickr users to merge with Yahoo accounts and new limits on both number of contacts and tags allowed on Flickr (Source: Thomas Hawk) […]

  85. Now with Facebook being so easy…i think I’m going to share everything there.

  86. […] a year ago Flickr made a decision to cap Flickr contacts at 3,000 for users. After a lot of protesting from Flickr users over this decision Flickr reversed their decision and […]

  87. […] Thomas Hawk Digital Connection » Blog Archive » There’s SomeThomas has always been very open about disclosing his Zoomr relationship. But is Raoul really suggesting that Hawk gets no compensation from Zoomr? I think in most cases stock options will be considered some sort of compensation — does Hawk have no investment in Zoomr? […]

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