SmugMug announces plan to buy Flickr

In a move that surprised, well, hardly anyone, SmugMug, the popular family-owned photo sharing and storage site, has announced it will purchase pioneering photo-sharing site Flickr for an undisclosed sum. Flickr will continue to operate as a separate service, although Flickr users will have to agree to SmugMug’s terms of service by May 25th.

Flickr users shouldn’t expect major changes, even those who pay for the Pro service:

Your SmugMug and Flickr accounts will remain separate and independent for the foreseeable future.

Both Flickr and SmugMug users will continue to log in with their current credentials and you will have the same experience you are used to. If things do change in the future for Flickr, we’ll be as transparent as possible about the process and give you as much notice as we can about the issues that will matter to you.

According to USAToday tech reporter Jefferson Graham, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill will consult Flickr’s user base before considering changes: ” ‘I don’t know what the future holds. This is a new model for me,’ he said. ‘We certainly think we need to operate it with an eye to our cash flow and our profitability. We are going to have to take a detailed look at the business and make sure it’s growing and healthy.’ ”

Since Yahoo was purchased by Verizon to become Oath, there’s been widespread industry speculation on the disposition of Flickr, which thrived in the pre-social media days as the premier photo-sharing network. Started in 2004, the site was acquired by then-high flyer Yahoo for $20-$25 million. During the Marissa Meyer era, Flickr was largely unattended, other than offering 1 TB of free storage of high-resolution photos and updates to the UI and the iOS app.

Flickr claims more than 75 million registered photographers and more than 100 million unique users who have posted tens of billions of photos. The site still attracts 13 million unique visitors a month, according to industry sources.

Following is the press release:

SmugMug Announces Intent to Acquire Flickr

SmugMug and Flickr Unite to Form the World’s Most Influential Photography Community

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SmugMug, the largest, most comprehensive, independent photo management platform in the world, today announced it has agreed to purchase Flickr, the online photo management and sharing application. Together, SmugMug and Flickr represent the world’s most influential community of photographers, marrying SmugMug’s deep industry expertise and strong digital tools with Flickr’s global tribe of tens of millions of photographers. Following the close of the transaction, the brands will continue to operate as separate entities with the shared goal of providing photographers with both a place to fit in and a place to stand out. SmugMug and Flickr believe that all photographers—from the hobbyist to the prosumer to the professional—belong together.

“Since day one our passion has been empowering photographers to tell the stories they want to tell, the way they want to tell them, and our investment in Flickr reaffirms this commitment,” said Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug. “Uniting the SmugMug and Flickr brands will make the whole photography community stronger and better connected. The enduring quality of photography is so much more than clicks and likes—photography has the power to change the world. Together, we can preserve photography as the global language of storytelling.”

Established in 2002 as one of the first photo storage and sharing services, SmugMug is home to millions of passionate photographers and billions of secure photographs. The SmugMug platform provides photographers with website designs that offer a safe, easy and convenient way to share, showcase and sell their stories. SmugMug gives photographers complete control over who accesses their photos, and provides robust e-commerce features that make it easy to turn passion into profit.

At its heart, SmugMug encourages and empowers its community of photographers to learn, share, and inspire one another. SmugMug provides 24/7 support, from real people, along with tips, tutorials, and training events, and also hosts webinars and forums with leading photographers.

Founded in 2004, Flickr is an active, global community of photographers that encourages users to find their inspiration. Home to tens of billions of photos and two million groups, photography lovers come to Flickr to share their passion, discover spectacular images, hone their craft, and engage with friends old and new.

“We share SmugMug’s mission to cater to people—professionals, amateurs, and everybody in between— who invest time, energy and love into their photos,” said Andrew Stadlen of Flickr. “We look forward to becoming part of the SmugMug family and continue to grow, innovate and delight our global community of photographers.”

About SmugMug

SmugMug logoPhotographers across the globe trust SmugMug with more than just their photos. They trust SmugMug with their memories, their businesses and their passion. SmugMug is the safe, beautiful home for your memories, providing passionate photographers at any level of experience a place to store, share and sell high-quality photos. Currently home to more than four billion photos, SmugMug is the most popular photography site in the world. At SmugMug, we love your photos as much as you do—and we’re focused on helping you celebrate and preserve all of life’s important moments.