Flickr announces significant account changes


Flickr, the image and video hosting service is exceptionally popular with Second Life users. Initially created by Ludicorp in 2004 and then acquired by Yahoo! In April 2018, it was sold to SmugMug, with the promise that there would be changes down the road.

On November 1st, 2018, those changes were officially announced, and could hit those SL users making use of Flickr’s free account offering hard.  In short, it has been announced that:

  • As from January 8th, 2019, free accounts on the platform will be limited to no more than 1,000 photos or videos.
  • After that date, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr.
  • Starting on February 5th, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted, starting from oldest date uploaded, to meet the new limit.

To compensate, SmugMug is upping the Flickr Pro account to try to make it more attractive to users. Pro accounts already receive unlimited storage, ad-free browsing and advanced stats, and will in the near future include things like a 5K photo display option, an increasing in video length from 3 minutes to 10, improved support, and additional partner discounts. To further encourage free account holders to move to Pro usage, those upgrading to the service before November 30th, 2018, will receive a 30% discount on their first year’s annual Pro membership (usually US $49.99 or equivalent per year).

As well as the main announcement, SmugMug have offered a blog post explaining the changes, which in part justifies them as being something as a “return to Flickr’s roots”: prior to 2013, free accounts on the platform were limited to just 200 photos at a time. The further state that in their estimation, the majority of free account holders tend to have fewer than 1,000 photos stored on the service.

Given the prolific nature of Second Life users, I double either of these reasons will serve to sate upset at the announcement – particularly given that the old free account limit was rescinded simply to encourage wider user of the service. Whether the “extras” of the Pro account will be enough to persuade those so affected to pay the annual fee or simply bite the bullet and move their work to another platform, remains to be seen. Those interested in seeing what else is available might want to check this list from Tom’s Guide.

It’s also interesting to note that at the time of the announcement, SmugMug’s own photo sharing options can be utilised from US $48.00 a month, putting it slightly below Flickr’s usual annual pricing for Pro accounts, with a 14-day free trial period. Their Basic account provides users with: unlimited uploads, 20 min / 3Gb videos, a customisable website, full-screen galleries, drag-n-drop photo organisation, multi-level password protection (allowing controlled access to images), print ordering options, and the expected sharing options.

In the meantime, if you’ve not already seen the announcement and the blog post from Flickr and are a free account user of the service, be sure to follow the links above, read, and consider your options.


JMB Balogh asked about the grandfathering of Pro accounts – something I wrestled with querying myself in the above article, eventually opting to keep to just the facts about the free account impact. However, in checking my quarterly Pro membership fees (I’d forgotten a payment was due at the end of October), it would appear the Grandfathering has been rescinded as well. 

Previewing Men in Focus in Second Life

Men In Focus

Men in Focus is a new gallery opening on Thursday, November 1st, 2018. Owned and sponsored by Men in Motion, a team of male choreographers and dancers promoting men’s mental and physical health in cooperation with the Movember Foundation. The gallery is curated by JMB Balogh, who invited me to preview the first exhibition at the gallery.

“The gallery features photography and 3D artworks of men at work or play in SL by male artists,” Jo informed me, adding, “There are hundreds of art galleries in Second Life but few, if any, that focus exclusively on the art of men.”

Men In Focus: Slayer Tanaka

The primary aim of the gallery is to showcase 2D art; however for the opening exhibition Jo has brought together both 2D and 3D artists, with works displayed across the multi-level gallery space that offers plenty of room for it to be appreciated. Those participating in this inaugural exhibition comprise:

Men In Focus: Jⓞhan Lionheart (Gemini sculpture) and Slayer Tanaka

The opening of the exhibition, set for 18:00 SLT on Thursday, November 1st, 2018, will be the kick-off event for the 2018 11-day Movember fund-raiser hosted by Men in Motion, and which will culminate in a spectacular dance show highlighting their choreography skills.

The schedule of events for the November fund-raiser comprises (at the time of writing and all time SLT):

  • Thursday, November 1st, 18:00: Men In Focus gallery opening, with music by DJ Ame
  • Friday, November 2nd: 20:00: Ladies Night with M@N
  • Saturday, November 3rd:
    • 09:00-11:00 – DJ Hanku
    • 12:00 noon-13:00 – Men In Motion dancer auction
    • 14:00-16:00 – DJ Chopper
    • 20:00-22:00 – DJ Aryanna Draken
  • Saturday, November 10th, 15:00-16:30 – Men In Motion Show
  • Sunday, November 11th, 13:00-15:00 – closing with DJ Cara.

All funds raised during the event will be donated to the Movember Foundation.

Men In Focus: Alex Avion and Kavika Lowgun

About the Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is a multinational charity raising awareness of, and money for, men’s health and welfare, with a focus on cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Its titular and widely known campaign is Movember, which encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November. The foundation partners annually with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to also raise money for men’s health.

Founded in 2003, in Melbourne, Australia by Adam Garone, Travis Garone, Luke Slattery, and Justin Coghlan, the organisation attained registered charity status in 2006, and as of 2014, has raised over US $580m in charitable donations used to fund more than 800 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, men’s health awareness and healthy lifestyles. It is active in 21 countries and has a global workforce of 130 people. In addition, Movember coincides with International Men’s Day (November 19th), which among its aims, shares the goal of promoting the health and well-being of men and boys.

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