Flickr users are reeling after waking up Monday morning (May 20) to a site that looks mighty different — think Instagram on steroids. Photos are now enormous and presented in a scrolling stream, no doubt to provide continuity between Flickr on the Web and Flickr on mobile.
Of course, as we’ve seen in the past when any social media site has made a noticeable change — remember the Facebook Timeline outrage? — users (at least those who are posting to Flickr's forum) hate it.
"I'm on a computer, not a phone. I want a usable site in which I can interact with a community, not a hideous 'internet 3.0' facelift that makes the site unusable but pretty on a tablet," Carter Baldwin, a Flickr user since 2006, commented.
In addition to redesigning the layout, Flickr changed its account structure, most notably by eliminating its Pro-level paid account that offered unlimited storage for $25 a year. Instead, Flickr gave all users 1TB of free storage, which is enough to store around 500,000 photos, Flickr said. Users with recurring Pro accounts — those set up with an automatic payment method for renewal — will be able to keep their Pro accounts at the price agreed upon at sign-up — at least until Flickr communicates otherwise, reps for the site said.
While Flickr's old guard may hate the new look, people new to the service may love it — especially those who have discovered a passion for photography, thanks to Instagram and other similar apps and sites . Flickr allows users to organize their photos into collections, upload and download full-resolution images, and become an active member of a photography-centric community. [See also: Street Photography Lessons: How to Get the Best Shot ]
To get started, you'll choose between Flickr's three new account options. Here's what you need to know:
Option 1: Free
With a free account, you will have 1TB of storage for photos and videos. You can upload photos of up to 200MB each and full HD video of up to 1GB (about three minutes long). You can organize your content into collections, such as by location, event or subject.
Option 2: Ad Free
For $50 a year, you can have an ad-free experience on both the Web and app versions of Flickr . Other than the lack of ads, there is no difference between this type of account and the free account.
Option 3: Doublr
As the name implies, Flickr's top-tier option gives subscribers twice the storage as the other accounts provide. However, you will pay dearly for that extra terabyte — $500 a year. Other than more storage, the Doublr account has the same features as the free option — that's right, you'll see ads.
It's unlikely that you'll need more than 1TB of storage, and ads on Flickr are minimal — at least for now. Your best bet is to go with the free option and upgrade to ad-free later if ads become too obtrusive. There's no good reason to pay $500 for double the storage — if you find yourself reaching your limit, create a second free account.
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