Yahoo has changed the Flickr Pro premium services into subscription plans. This is regarded as a reasonable and modest change and the stage is set for large changes to compete well against their latest rivals. Flickr is a big name in online photography but has lost some of its luster with major competitors like Google+, 500x, Instagram and Facebook having moved ahead with better technology luring a majority of users. Flickr has responded with the company shaking off the excess baggage and promising a regained vitality in 2012. The pricing programs are not very dramatic but they do show that someone’s at the tiller.
Zack Sheppard from Flickr said yesterday that with news schemes, Yahoo would charge credit cards automatically for renewing accounts. He also said that, when your Pro account nears expiry, you will get a reminder before renewal and you will have the alternative to cancel subscription. The new plan will apply to the Pro accounts started on the 25th of January or later. The users that purchased the Pro accounts before the 25th will pay by the old method via a web form.
The pricing for Flickr Pro has also been modestly changed. The service lifts limitations on upload rate, sets, collections and storage capability. It also allows account holders to upload HD videos, download original photos, and keep away the ads. The annual fees for the Pro account will stay the same, $24.95 but the two-year plan takes a drop from $47.99 to $44.95. A 3-month payment option has been added and comes at $6.95, which is a good idea for users to get an idea of what to expect before buying the Pro version. Despite some criticism on the Flickr forums about these changes, many people find the ability to upload thousands of photos for two dollars to be very attractive.
Flickr provides excellent backup to the photos and it has a great community and plenty of good features such as geotagging, sets and groups with innovative ideas such as liberating the photos from placing them in albums. It comes with an excellent API for third party use. There is hope in the air that Scott Thompson will be able to rekindle the Flickr excitement again, otherwise, they will be forced to sell the company.