Bernie Goldbach in Clomel | Screenshot from my Flickr dashboard
I'VE HAD TWO ACCOUNTS on Flickr since 2004 and remember a day when more than 8000 uploads a minute were happening there. Even though the number of uploads per minute rarely goes above 4000 nowadays, I get more traffic to my two Flickr photostreams than the most popular Irish bloggers get to their blogs.
I like using Flickr as a lifestreaming service so I push images shot from my Foursquare check-ins into my Flickr photostream. I also cross-post my Instagram stuff to Flickr. Because I pay for my Flickr, I believe its storage is more resilient than other services.
Some long term system-wide averages are worth considering, looking at the days required to notch up an additional billion images online at Flickr. It took Flickr 232 days to go from six billion images to seven billion images on March 20, 2012. Going back billion by billion, here is how the numbers rolled:
six billion on Flickr - August 1, 2011 (318 days)
five billion on Flickr - Setembper 17, 2010 (341 days)
four billion on Flickr - October 11, 2009 (342 days)
three billion on Flickr - November 3, 2008 (356 days)
two billion on Flickr - Novemver 13, 2007
I know Flickr gets slammed for shedding engineers and doing little to liven up its apps, but I really like the ease and reliability of Flickr on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. I connect with a small group of people who read my photos and comment on them regularly. And once a fortnight, I get requests to use images I've uploaded. This kind of activity makes Flickr worthwhile for me.
I think one of the reasons I get frequent requests to reuse images is because Flickr gives free acess to all image sizes. I have many images weighing more than five megabytes and I've set image permissions to give people the opportunity to download my stuff at high resolution. This helps people in the print business and it suits those producing Kindle and iBooks quite nicely.