It wasn’t that long ago that Yahoo stood accused of letting Flickr decay beyond repair.
Today, under the guidance of new CEO Marissa Mayer, the company has given the oft maligned image-sharing community a major facelift. Yahoo’s announcement promises a Flickr that’s “more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere.”
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the grid. Here’s what’s new on your Flickr account:
Room To Grow
As recently as yesterday, free Flickr users could upload and display 200 images at a time. Now every user has one terabyte of storage space. For those of you playing along at home, that’s enough for roughly 200,000 photos. Or as the Flickr staff puts it even more dramatically, “you could take a photo every hour for forty years without filling one.”
Following Flickr’s consistently freemium model, you can get even more perks by going pro. Fifty dollars will remove all advertisements. And for the serious professional, $499.99 will double your storage space to two terabytes per year. Or, you know, more than 400,000 photos.
If you already had an original Flickr Pro account, priced at $24.95, you’re getting a heck of a deal. Yahoo has upgraded you to the $49.99 option until August 2013, free of charge. Pro user Aaron Brazell sent us a screenshot of his pro account, pictured below:
Introducing The Grid
The most instantly noticeable change is an aesthetic one. Your photos have enlarged themselves to jaw dropping size and now dominate the screen. Taking a cue from Instagram, your home page is now an infinite scroll through your contacts’ recent photos.
Your profile page has also gone the way of Pinterest and Windows 8, filling the page with a grid of images. Just like Facebook and Twitter, your profile page includes a background photo to offset your profile picture.
I found that Flickr had already put one of my Favorites as my background image, a photo I didn’t even take myself. As it’s not credited, I certainly hope the photographer doesn’t take issue.
Wait, What’s Going On?
A lot here has changed and Flickr power users are still trying to figure out what’s new. Flickr’s most active discussion forum, Flickr Central, is abuzz with comments about the change. Given that these are the people that continued to daily use Flickr even as the rest of the Internet complained it was dead, it’s no surprise they’re unhappy with the change.
“I signed on Flickr to post a story about Yahoo vowing not to screw up Tumblr … and then I see the clusterfuck that is the new homepage,” one user wrote.
Meanwhile, confusion abounds at Flickr’s official Help Forum. I’d be amazed if the staff can answer all 1,100 plus questions that were added in the last hour. It looks like Yahoo might want to update Flickr’s FAQ guidelines, which still link to old news like the ability to pay $24.95 for a pro subscription.
If you're confused, don't add to the backlog. I have reached out to Yahoo for details on when the new FAQ will be up and will update when we know more.
Update May 21 at 8 AM Pacific: a Yahoo spokesperson informed me the Flickr FAQ has been updated with new information about the redesign.