Flickr owner makes plea for subscriptions with holiday promotion

Flickr, the pioneering yet financially troubled photo-sharing site, needs an influx of paying customers, according to a post by SmugMug co-founder and CEO Don MacAskill in an open letter. SmugMug purchased Flickr in 2018, where it was losing “tens of millions of dollars a year,” says MacAskill. Still a labor of love, MacAskill said SmugMug stepped in to rescue the company’s vast archive from being erased.

MacAskill writes hundreds of thousands of Flickr users have stepped up to Flickr Pro accounts, which helps, but more signups are needed:

Now Flickr needs your help. It’s still losing money. Hundreds of thousands of you stepped up and joined Flickr Pro, for which we are eternally grateful. As a result, it’s losing a lot less money than it was. But it’s not yet making enough.

We need more Flickr Pro members if we want to keep the Flickr dream alive.

We didn’t buy Flickr because we thought it was a cash cow. Unlike platforms like Facebook, we also didn’t buy it to invade your privacy and sell your data. We bought it because we love photographers, we love photography, and we believe Flickr deserves not only to live on but thrive. We think the world agrees; and we think the Flickr community does, too. But we cannot continue to operate it at a loss as we’ve been doing.

Flickr is the world’s largest photographer-focused community. It’s the world’s best way to find great photography and connect with amazing photographers. Flickr hosts some of the world’s most iconic, most priceless photos, freely available to the entire world. This community is home to more than 100 million accounts and tens of billions of photos. It serves billions of photos every single day. It’s huge. It’s a priceless treasure for the whole world. And it costs money to operate. Lots of money.

Flickr is not a charity, and we’re not asking you for a donation. Flickr is the best value in photo sharing anywhere in the world. Flickr Pro members get ad-free browsing for themselves and their visitors, advanced stats, unlimited full-quality storage for all their photos, plus premium features and access to the world’s largest photographer-focused community for less than $5 per month.

We’re launching our end-of-year Pro subscription campaign on Thursday, December 26. If you haven’t already joined Pro, I want to invite you to do so today for the same 25% discount. If you are already a Pro, I want to give you a coupon code to share with friends, family, or anyone who shares your love of photography and community so they can enjoy the same 25% discount before the campaign starts.