Flickr limits free version to 1000 photos

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 3, 2018
Music and Video

Flickr announced plans to limit free accounts of the photo community severely in the coming months.

The photo hosting service offered 1 Terabyte of photo storage to free users since 2013. Yahoo, which was acquired by Verizon in 2016, sold Flickr to SmugMug in 2018.

Specifics of the deal were not disclosed but SmugMug revealed back then that it would continue to support free accounts on the site and would not move or change photos.

The first major change after the acquisition date was announced on November 1, 2018. The press release, released by Flickr, highlights changes to Pro and Free accounts on Flickr.

Flickr Pro customers get more for the yearly subscription fee that they pay to Flickr while free customers will face serious limitations.

Flickr users don't need a Yahoo account anymore to use Flickr from January 2019 on.

New Pro account features

flickr free pro changes

Flickr Pro accounts get unlimited storage and an advertisement-free experience on the site.  Pro customers will get access to the following features as of today or in the near future as well:

  • Priority support (now).
  • Advanced states on mobile (November).
  • More partner discounts (November).
  • Priority exposure in the new version of Explore (early 2019).
  • Resolution upgrade to support 5k (early 2019).
  • Video playtime upgrade to 10 minutes from 3 (early 2019).

Free accounts are downsized

Flickr will downsize all free accounts to a limit of 1000 photos or videos. The media can be of any size according to the press release. Free accounts won't get 1 Terabyte of online storage for media anymore.

The change impacts existing customers on the site. Any account that is over the 1000 photo limit will have photos removed from the site that are in excess of the limit.

Free members with more than 1,000 photos or videos uploaded to Flickr have until Tuesday, January 8, 2019, to upgrade to Pro or download content over the limit. After January 8, 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr.

After February 5, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted -- starting from oldest to newest date uploaded -- to meet the new limit.

Free users of Flick have until February 5, 2019 to make a decision. The options are:

  • Upgrade to a Pro account for 30% off in the first year to get unlimited storage and other Pro benefits.
  • Download excess photos or all photos before they are deleted.
  • Do nothing and have Flickr delete photos automatically that exceed the limit.

The reasoning behind the change

A blog post was published on the official Flickr blog on the same day that provides an explanation for the change:

  • The free 1 Terabyte offer attracted many users who were only interested in free storage and not community interaction. The tone of the site changed.
  • SmugMug wants to run Flickr on subscription revenue and not rely on revenue generated by advertisement.
  • Sending the wrong signal that storage and Flickr is not worth paying for.

The 1000 photo limit was decided upon after careful examination of current use scenarios on Twitter. Most Pro customers have more than 1000 photos and videos uploaded to Flickr while the vast majority of free users, 97% according to Flickr, have fewer than 1000 photos or videos stored on Flickr.

Closing Words

It may not be a popular opinion, but I understand Flickr's / SmugMug's motivation for the change. Yahoo's business model relied on data and advertising; the more users a service had the better for advertising. SmugMug wants to shift the business model to subscriptions.

What I can't agree with is how the situation is handled. Flickr could have made a different decision on how to proceed with the shift:

  1. Make the change only for new accounts on the site and not existing ones.
  2. Offer free users a bigger discount or even 6/12 months free to test Pro features.

The move will displease free users who exceed the 1000 photo limit, 3% according to Flickr of the entire free user population, and may also displease free users who have not hit the limit but dislike the limitation nevertheless.

Now You: What is your take on the announced change? Are you affected?

Flickr limits free version to 1000 photos
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Flickr limits free version to 1000 photos
Flickr announced plans to limit free accounts of the photo community severely in the coming months.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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