SmugMug just announced the acquisition of Flickr from Yahoo, which was acquired by Verizon last year. According to SmugMug, this partnership will "build the world's most influential photography community."
The acquisition allows SmugMug to gain tens of millions of additional Flickr photographers as customers, but the two brands and services will remain distinct indefinitely.
SmugMug and Flickr believed that all photographers, from hobbyists to prosumers to professionals, belong together, according to SmugMug.
Flickr was founded in 2004 by Ludicorp of Vancouver, British Columbia, and was acquired by Yahoo in 2005. When Verizon (and then its subsidiary Oath) bought Yahoo for $4.5 billion in 2017, the site became part of Verizon (and then its subsidiary Oath).
With the rise of new social media outlets such as Facebook and the photo-centric Instagram, it's always appeared like Flickr may go away at any time. Yahoo was harshly chastised for allowing a groundbreaking concept to linger for years. After SmugMug's statement on Friday, this Gizmodo piece from 2012 was making the rounds again.
After 12 years of membership, I have 20,000 photographs on the platform, and the prospect of losing those photographs or having to go through the arduous process of moving them to another site has always been worrisome to me. But I hung in there, uploading and hoping for a change that would revitalize the site.
According to SmugMug, Flickr will continue to operate independently, and CEO Don MacAskill told USA Today that he's devoted to reviving the "faded social networking pioneer."
"Flickr is an incredible community with some of the world's most dedicated photographers," MacAskill added. "It's a terrific product and a well-known brand that has provided hundreds of millions of people around the world with tens of billions of images. Flickr has made it through thick and thin and is an integral part of the internet's fabric."
So, what's going to happen with my Flickr account? How will my Smugmug account be affected?
Not a single thing. Flickr and SmugMug will continue to function independently, as they have in the past. For the time being, your SmugMug and Flickr accounts will remain separate and independent.
Users of Flickr and SmugMug will be able to log in using their existing credentials, and you'd have the same experience as before. If things change for Flickr in the future, we'll be as open as possible about the process and provide you with as much warning as possible about the concerns that will affect you.
Will my photos be affected in any way? Are they going to be relocated?
No, you'll still be able to access your images the same way you do now, with the same Flickr or SmugMug URL. We'll be transferring Flickr to SmugMug's technical infrastructure over time, and your Flickr photos will migrate with them — but the photographs themselves will remain on Flickr.
There will be no immediate changes, and free Flickr accounts will continue to exist. SmugMug also stated that the prices for pro-Flickr accounts would not change. SmugMug's terms of service will also be required of Flickr users.