When Flickr was acquired by Smugmug, I was happy. Rather than comparing between the two services, they finally under one team, even Flickr and Smugmug are still two separated services. I believe that Smugmug will work hard and listen to Flickr community to bring Flickr back with better features.

But, I decided to leave Flickr for Google Photos. Thank you, Flickr!

Flickr and I

Before Instagram era, or mobile-first photo sharing becomes so popular, Flickr was on the top service if it’s referring to photos/photography. Especially when there was Yahoo behind it.

I created my personal Flickr account back in 2004 — it’s 15 years ago — and I started uploading and sharing photos. When I was having close discussion with Public Communication Center of Ministry of Health and they asked me what kind of platform to choose to share photos, I recommended Flickr. The best part is they’re still using it until now!

Thomas Arie presenting flickr #ytownhall
Me sharing about Flickr during Yahoo Community Townhall event in May 2011 in Jakarta. I even still have the presentation slides with me. Thank you, Della and Gage!

Dear Flickr,

Probably, it’s just me. But, I wish you offer better experiences in — in my opinion — some of the key features.

First, help me to organise my thousand of photos. For me, it’s not that easy to put multiple photos into multiple albums. I am not sure about how you handle exactly-the-same photos, or…. duplicate photos. As far as I remember, it will be treated as different photos.

I wish you can also help me to organise my uploaded photos… automagically. There are lots of faces in my photos. Help me to organise them by faces so that I can easily and quickly find photos of my wife, my sister, and also my friends.

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I know that sometimes it’s not about you. But, I feel that it’s slow to send my photos to you. I know, it’s also because you can also secure my photos in their original sizes.

I will stop talking now. I don’t hate you at all. I need something that works for me better now.

From photo sharing to photo storage

Even I have public photos/albums on Flickr, I have almost all of my photos set to private. So for me, I am become more selective in sharing my photos. I am not sure about the way people use photo sharing service like Flickr, 500px, Smugmug, or Google Photos, but I think more people will choose the service also based on the audience.

Professional photographers will pick services like Flickr, 500px, or Smugmug to share their portfolios because they offer photographer-specific features for example the printing features.

I love taking photos and most of them are for my personal documentation. When I need to share with my close friends or relatives, I will put those photos into specific folders/albums and share with them. When I think it’s for public consumption, I will share my photos to Instagram — I even use Instagram Stories more than its feed. I don’t use Facebook anymore, by the way.

As I need to save my photos online, or maybe I should say ‘to backup my photos online’, I need the service that simply works for me.

Google Photos

When I had my photos uploaded to Flickr, I almost never used Google Photos. So, I did not have my photos uploaded to multiple services. It was tempting to use Google Photos with its features. I decided to move to Google Photos after Flickr announced the changes on the free account features after the acquisition. Flickr/Smugmug has to think to keep the service running better everyday, and they need to pay for the development and keep the service running in long period of time.

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Quoting from the announcement

January 8, 2019: Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. Free accounts with more than 1,000 items will no longer be able to upload new photos or videos.

February 5, 2019: Any items over the 1,000-upload limit will be at risk of deletion, starting with the oldest of the items. Photos licensed through Creative Commons before November 1, 2018 will not be deleted, even for accounts over the 1,000 limit.

flickr blog: Important service updates and dates to remember

So, I think this is the right time to move to Google Photos. I started to download a specific albums from my Flickr account and uploaded them to Google Photos. New photos taken from my Oppo F7 phones directly go to my Google Photos albums. It takes time, but this is not a difficult process. I just need patience.

Currently, I have 26,000+ photos and 300+ albums in my Google Photos.