Flickr Joins SmugMug


It is always nice to see an old brand land in a new home, especially when people were worried if it would even continue to exist at all.

Formerly owned by Yahoo, Flickr, one of the world’s largest image hosting services and beloved by many photographers the world over, has lingered in a state of limbo ever since its corporate parent was purchased by Verizon Wireless back in July 2017.

Now the future for Flickr seems to be much clearer with the announcement that SmugMug, a company specializing in storytelling through photography, will be acquiring Flickr and adding it to its portfolio of photography services.

Image via Fancycrave from

In a release from SmugMug touting the news, the firm boasts that it will continue to focus on its members needs and is excited to add Flickr’s users to its growing and robust community of creators.

Longtime Flickr users, for their part, are thrilled with the news, especially given that SmugMug is a photography-oriented website, unlike some of the other potential suitors for Flickr that have been named in the past.

For many, Flickr is a symbol of Yahoo’s woeful mismanagement of its properties. Initially a dynamic and groundbreaking company, Flickr missed out on the Instagram and Snapchat trend entirely and has languished in pretty much the same market position that it debuted in way back in 2004. Used by many in the tech industry as an example of how stifling corporate culture can become for startups, Flickr is often dissected for what, how, and who directed the company towards a largely irrelevant position in a world gone mad with photos and video media.

Of course, users that don’t want their data being shared with SmugMug have the opportunity to delete their photos before everything goes live May 25, 2018. One thing is certain, it will be interesting to see what Flickr’s new owners do with the property and whether or not it will return to the prominence it once enjoyed in the wider market.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

Thank you for this. Ever since learning the news I have been unsure what it might mean for those of us diehard Flickr users. It’s reassuring to read that this may be a positive change after all.

I have no experience with SmugMug and have toured their site which was impressive. My question is: will guests be able to download my photos as they currently can from Flickr?

Flickr may get a fresh boost to start, since SmugMug will want to show some movement. However, I won’t hold my breath for too long considering SmugMug has done very little with their own product in the sense of moving the technology forward. For years many in the community, including myself, have asked for some for of VR support and an expanded image format support with no response. SmugMug is quickly losing ground to new players in the image sharing/distribution/fulfilment arena and I see their acquisition of Flickr as one more thing to slow them down.

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