Bernie Goldbach in Cashel with a new look on Flickr that many Pro users don't appreciate.
MY FLICKR PRO accounts just got more valuable. For $50 a year, I get an ad-free, retina-friendly online photo storage system for full-resolution images.
I also like getting three minutes of video, up from 90 seconds of video playback for my clips. But I'm limited to 50 MB for each image and 500 MB for each video clip. This is better than what people get with sharing sites like Facebook or Instagram, the two places that have stolen a march on Flickr since the iPhone entered the market.
It feels like Yahoo! wants me to simply convert to a free Flickr account but I can see a lot of value in the faster service while free of advertisements. Because of promotions and generous friends, I've rarely paid the full $49.99 annually for my Flickr Pro account.
There are some real advantages of staying with the Pro status, even though Flickr has removed my "Pro" badge under my image. For example, I like the stats I get with my Flickr Pro account and it is very convenient to be able to replace photos with a better image while knowing the URL of the image won't change. This has a lot of value when promoting a poster across a network of websites or when I want to change one of my images that some chancer has put on an internet property without attribution or permission.
Students who sign up for Flickr now get a full terabyte of free storage. They can also create collectionsnow and post to 60 group pools. And can also upload full HD videos up to 1GB each, with playback of three minutes. This is important because Flickr has defined itself as a place where people store the photos they snap. It's also a sharing space but storage is Flickr's strong suit.
There's still no way for a Windows Phone to easily upload full-resolution videos from the handset. Windows Phone videos can be sent via email to Flickr but only after compression and that degrades the audio as well as the video resolution.
As expected, there's plenty of cross-talk on the official Flickr forums about the change and most of my online friends who own DSLR cameras aren't too impressed with either the new look or the new storage capabilities. But I've used Flickr as my primary storage area for best images and getting more space helps my personal archiving. With its improved apps and bulk uploading capability, I expect to add several thousand images to my Flickr account this summer, adding to the 12000 images I've on the system spread across two accounts.
Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia at the Limerick School of Art and Design. He has used Flickr on the curriculum since September 2004.