Over the weekend, popular photo hosting and sharing service Flickr was bought by rival service SmugMug. If you have a Flickr account, you have probably received an email or six that reads:

We’re excited to announce that Flickr has agreed to be acquired by SmugMug, the photography platform dedicated to visual storytellers.

SmugMug has a long history of empowering people who love photography and who want to improve their craft, making them a perfect fit for Flickr and our creative community. With SmugMug, we’ll continue to focus on you, the Flickr members who inspire us all with your work.

Nothing will change immediately with regard to your Flickr account. You will still access Flickr with your current login credentials and you will have the same Flickr experience as you do now. We will continue to work to make your Flickr experience even better.

We think you are going to love Flickr under SmugMug ownership, but you can choose to not have your Flickr account and data transferred to SmugMug until May 25, 2018. If you want to keep your Flickr account and data from being transferred, you must go to your Flickr account to download the photos and videos you want to keep, then delete your account from your Account Settings by May 25, 2018.

If you do not delete your account by May 25, 2018, your Flickr account and data will transfer to SmugMug and will be governed by SmugMug’s Terms and Privacy Policy.

Read more detailed FAQs about this transition on the Flickr Blog.

We’re happy that Flickr is your home for photography and we look forward to the next chapter in our adventure together as we join the SmugMug family.

The Flickr Team


A Flickr FAQ has been updated with more information as well.

Flickr, of course, has been around forever and for some of us iPhoneography oldtimers, it was the first place many of us posted and shared our photos. It was under the Yahoo! umbrella of services for most of its life. Once Yahoo! was purchased by Verizon and rebranded as Oath, there was speculation whether or not the new owners would keep, sell, or kill one of the few cool things Yahoo! had left. Turns out it was sell.

For now, SmugMug assures users that nothing will change with Flickr except new SmugMug Terms and Conditions, so no need to download all of your Flickr photos yet. Most likely, all of your photos will eventually be migrated to the combined service. Of course, the way these things go, odds are Flickr and its users, communities, and photos will eventually be swallowed into the SmugMug fold.

The two services have some big differences. Flickr has a free tier that gets you 1TB of space. SmugMug has several pricing tiers but none of them are free. Expect Flickr’s free service to go away someday. Flickr has communities and groups; SmugMug does not. SmugMug’s more costly tiers have more options for monetizing your photography that Flickr lacks.

Although the two services both allow photographers to host and share images, there are many ways in which the two do not crossover, making each service fairly unique and useful. If the two are actually combined with the best of both, SmugMug will end up being a pretty kickass service. If Flickr has just been purchased to be killed off after acquiring its user base, that will be a pretty big loss to the photo sharing community, regardless of how relevant or not Yahoo! allowed Flickr to become over the years.

Do you have a favorite photo hosting service? Have you even thought about Flickr in years? Sound off in the comments below.