Flickr Redesign Now Gives You ONE TERABYTE of Space (and Some Other Thoughts on Cloud-Computing)

Flickr, a photography storage & sharing site which was one of the original Web 2.0 services (the missing vowel gives it away!), has lived in a state of benign neglect for the past few years after being acquired by Yahoo!  in 2005.

Under the leadership of new CEO (and former Google #3) Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! has refocused its energies in a variety of ways including a major deal to acquire Tumblr (again, missing vowel alert!) and a massive redesign of Flickr.

Probably the biggest news in that redesign is that Flickr now offers 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) of  storage (room for ~250,000 photos) which is a quantum leap from what most other free storage sites are offering (including Mayer’s former employer, Google, who offer 5GB of free storage for their Google Drive product.)

(There’s another Google echo in this announcement – Google made a huge wave and got a lot of people to switch from competitors such as Hotmail and ironically, Yahoo! Mail when they launched Gmail in 2004, offering a then-unprecedented 1 Gigabyte of storage when other companies were offering a fraction of that – 2MB or 4MB.)

So anyhow, it remains to be seen if this is a game changer in the crowded online photography services landscape but, as with everything, time will tell.

I began using Flickr in 2006 while in library school which is also when we got our first digital camera (thanks Ebay!) and Shea joined soon after.  For a long time, I mostly used my account for serving images to my blog since my blog host had limited space at the time.  Shea’s account was more about archiving our lives, she even had the $24.95 Pro account which allowed you to view more than 200 most recent photos but let it lapse.  So another unintended benefit of this move is people who no longer had Pro accounts are seeing important photos that were locked by Flickr (on the flip side, photos that appeared to be hidden for the most part – to the user anyhow, even if they were still discoverable by search – are now re-appearing)

The timing of this is slightly unfortunate as I was recently researching a place to move all of my photos online for cloud-based storage and access.  I looked at Facebook. Flickr, Google Picasa, Dropbox, iCloud, SmugMug and numerous other competitors but none had the feature set I was looking for – ability to upload photos and videos in their original resolution, an iPhoto uploader, ability to identify duplicate photos, decent tagging/grouping options, good control of privacy settings including default of “Private”, gut level of trust of the company, etc.

In the end, just a week ago, I ended up signing up for ThisLife.com which is a relative new entry in the online photo storage/sharing space but which seemed to be the closest fit for what I was looking for.  (Here’s a Public “Story” I created – basically, what they use to refer to what most sites would call an Album.)

That does bring up the question of how I balance what is ultimately a divide between the convenience of online cloud storage (access anywhere! no need to do backups! Integrate easily with other services!) versus the control of keeping things local on your own hard drive (Control! Privacy!  Prevent Google/Facebook/Microsoft from knowing even more about you!) and this is how it shakes down right now for the major areas of my life

I did a similar post about a year ago so it’s also interesting to see how things have shifted in 12 short months…

  • E-mail – still using Thunderbird as my main e-mail client rather than a web-based service like Gmail, mostly because I’m old-school and think of e-mail as somehow being particularly private, even compared to putting your photos or documents online
  • Web surfing – was using both Firefox and Chrome a year ago but have now all but fully switched to Chrome
  • Digital Photos/Videos – as I said, in process of trying ThisLife.com for photos but will likely continue to use iPhoto as a local repository.  Now that leads to question of how to prevent duplication of effort so if I create an album or tag photos or whatever in one, it gets reflected in both (note to self: check if ThisLife syncs photos that get updated in iPhoto?)
  • Music – Rdio has become the source of probably 80% of my listening with iTunes making up the 10% of bands that aren’t on Rdio – as I said before, ranging from artists that are big (Beatles) to small (indies like Sam Baker, and speaking of, you should support his Kickstarter for his next album!)
  • Documents – moving or starting the vast majority of my documents onto Google Drive – whether a checklist for Pace’s recent birthday to a To Do list for work 

More discussion from MetaFilter, my favourite spot for thoughtful consideration of any news-worthy topic of the day  (perhaps partly because they try to *not* being about the current buzzy topics?)

Comments 2

  1. John Betmanis wrote:

    Do you use Flickr? I don’t but a lot of people on a vintage bicycle list I belong to do. EVERY one of them is absolutely devastated over the mess Flickr has made with their new look and changes.

    Posted 24 May 2013 at 11:02 am
  2. HeadTale wrote:

    I used to but never got deeply involved in that community – probably for the best because, as you say, the longest, most involved members of the community seem to be devastated about the changes – both how broad they are and also how little advance consultation (or at least warning) was done.

    Posted 24 May 2013 at 11:44 am

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