Flickr is no longer a Yahoo property: acquired by SmugMug

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 21, 2018
Music and Video

When you visit the Flickr or SmugMug website today, you are informed that the photo storage service SmugMug has acquired the photo hosting community site Flickr from Yahoo / Oath / Verizon.

Flickr was once a popular, maybe the most popular, photo hosting community site on the Internet. Users could sign up for an account on the site to upload photos to it and use different community features to join groups, share photos, or use comment and voting functionality.

The rise of smartphones and competing image hosting services impacted Flickr's popularity in a negative way. Yahoo tried to compete with new services by launching redesigns of Flickr, but it seemed that the company's priorities lay elsewhere.

Information is scarce at this point in time. The "together page" has lots of photos but only a couple of sentences that reveal little.

SmugMug has acquired Flickr.

If you use our products today, rest easy, they aren't going anywhere.

The future is bright, but we'll only get there together.

Let's do this.

SmugMug revealed, however, that Flickr will operate as an individual entity which means that both sites and services will remain available on the Internet for the foreseeable future.

SmugMug and Flickr represent the world’s most influential community of photographers, and there is strength in numbers. We want to provide photographers with both inspiration and the tools they need to tell their stories. We want to bring excitement and energy to inspire more photographers to share their perspective. And we want to be a welcome place for all photographers: hobbyist to archivist to professional.

Verizon acquired Yahoo last year and Flickr was part of the deal. It was clear back then that Verizon had plans to sell services and sites that did not make good fits for the company's web portfolio.

Neither Oath/Verizon nor SmugMug revealed details of the deal. It is unclear how much SmugMug paid Oath for the acquisition of Flickr.

The FAQ page reveals additional information about the impact of the deal:

  • Flickr accounts and SmugMug accounts will continue to work just like before.
  • Photos won't be moved or changed.
  • Flickr will continue to offer a free version.
  • Flickr's pricing for Pro customers won't change.
  • All Flickr users will get emails asking them to accept SmugMug's Terms of Service.
Flickr is no longer a Yahoo property: acquired by SmugMug
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Flickr is no longer a Yahoo property: acquired by SmugMug
When you visit the Flickr or SmugMug website today, you are informed that the photo storage service SmugMug has acquired the photo hosting community site Flickr from Yahoo / Oath / Verizon.
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  1. Anonymous said on April 22, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I never even heard SmugMug before..

    1. Hy said on April 23, 2018 at 8:03 am

      I’ve never heard of it either. It’s a very awkward-sounding, rather unpleasant name.

  2. AAA said on April 22, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Hehe. What last Golden egg the poor goose had, even that’s gone now. Silly goose can shove itself into the oven now.
    Been flickr pro for eight years and hardly saw any developments by flickr. Smug will make it better now.


  3. davidb said on April 22, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Companies so often give the same spiel when it comes to buying out the competition that its practically cliche. They’ll continue to operate separately as stated, but internally the chopping block is probably already being brushed off. I give it about 2 years before rumors of a complete shutdown start to circulate, with the actual shutdown occurring within another 2 after that. Of course the excuse will be, ‘reduced active userbase’, and ‘wanting to focus on our core product’.

    1. mikef90000 said on April 24, 2018 at 1:28 am

      ANYTHING should be better than being captive by Verizon, a huge arrogant rape-and-pillage corporation.
      I left Flickr when they dumbed it down a few years ago for the cellphone crowd, specifically removing subfolders or whatever they called them. Serious photographers, go away!
      As a result, it is a nightmare to navigate sites with huge numbers of images (see Los Angeles Metro for example).
      Yes, we’ll see ….

    2. Richard Allen said on April 22, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      I was thinking the same thing and I can’t decide If I’m just being cynical or am I being a realist? We’ll see. :)

  4. Anonymous said on April 22, 2018 at 6:47 am

    I removed my account when Yahoo killed Flickr in 2013, no chance I change my mind.

  5. Sebas said on April 21, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    ‘Over time, Flickr’s sign-in will be separated from Yahoo’s and when that happens, you’ll have the ability to choose how you log in’.

    Now that is good news, finally get rid of that spam infested Yahoo account. Smugmugs privacy policy seems more sane than Oath. So after the bad news now some good news finally.

  6. Richard Allen said on April 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I hope there aren’t too many changes to the free accounts. I like visiting Flickr a few times a week and just browsing the images. Way back when I was ruined in high-school when I took a year of photography and at the time the school had the best black and white lab in the state. Such a nerd I grew to love the smell of developing negatives. LoL

    Now, I can travel the world and see the Cristal Palace in Madrid, walk the hills of Montepulciano and then visit the Berliner Dom. All I have to do now is figure out a way to experience the local cuisine. :)

    The eyes and a smile always get me!

    1. Sebas said on April 22, 2018 at 5:26 am

      Flickr still is a great experience for photographers. It has had a real impact on the way I photograph. The social aspect of it has somewhat diminished imo, but really there are such beautiful images to explore, true works of art. And it is on Flickr I met some really amazing people.

      After all the bad years it seems people on Flickr have some new hope again.

      Thank you Martin, appreciated a geek site like ghacks cover this news and in doing so crossing some borders:-)

      1. Richard Allen said on April 22, 2018 at 4:06 pm

        Every single time I open my ‘explore’ bookmark I’m impressed with what I see. There are some very talented photographers uploading pics, amateurs too but it’s all worth seeing. I often get comments on my screensaver images, a lot of the Italian coast I’ve found on Flickr I wish I could claim credit for. :)

        I have my screensaver slideshow activate after 5 minutes of inactivity on my desktop.

      2. Richard Allen said on April 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

        Just wanted to add that Flickr is the main reason I’ve been using the userscript Mouseover Popup Image Viewer for a few years now, it does work on a bunch of other sites though. I love being able to put my cursor over an image and have it enlarge to fill my browser window. I only have to click on an image if I want to get the location info or something else. Sadly, the userscript hasn’t been updated for over half a year but it’s still working for me.

      3. Hy said on April 22, 2018 at 3:39 pm

        I heard about this on Axios. I admit I was relieved to learn that Verizon would not be ruining Flickr, too. Let’s hope that Flickr will enjoy a long life and treat its users well.

        Just for fun: my second favorite “German site,” so to speak, after Martin’s ghacks… :)

        @Sebas: BEAUTIFUL photostream! Thanks so much for sharing it!

      4. Sebas said on April 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

        Thanks Hy, much appreciated!

  7. naveed said on April 21, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I really hope they don’t remove or reduce the free tier limits.

  8. dog said on April 21, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Well if they will carry the company into a broad future ie not destroy flickr I am happy with this.
    Hopefully it will be possible to transition and totally remove the yahoo mail connection to existing accounts and be registered independently with any email.

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