Today SmugMug, the leading photo management and sharing platform, announced the acquisition of Flickr, the online photo management and sharing application. This acquisition will create the most influential photography community in the world.

For 15 years SmugMug has focused on helping the photographer and supporting their craft, with a business model that doesn’t use advertising or user data. Through this acquisition, SmugMug will now extend this dedication to the largest photography community in the world – benefitting tens of millions more photographers and putting their work and inspiration first.

“Since day one our passion has been empowering photographers to tell the stories they want to tell, the way they want to tell them, and our investment in Flickr reaffirms this commitment,” said Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug. “Uniting the SmugMug and Flickr brands will make the whole photography community stronger and better connected.  The enduring quality of photography is so much more than clicks and likes—photography has the power to change the world. Together, we can preserve photography as the global language of storytelling.”

SmugMug was started in 2002 and has since become an amazing community for photographers worldwide. SmugMug is home to millions of passionate photographers and billions of secure photographs. The SmugMug platform provides photographers with website designs that offer a safe, easy and convenient way to share, showcase and sell their stories. SmugMug gives photographers complete control over who accesses their photos, and provides robust e-commerce features that make it easy to turn passion into profit.

At its heart, SmugMug encourages and empowers its community of photographers to learn, share, and inspire one another. SmugMug provides 24/7 support, from real people, along with tips, tutorials, and training events, and also hosts webinars and forums with leading photographers.

Founded in 2004, Flickr is an active, global community of photographers that encourages users to find their inspiration. Home to tens of billions of photos and two million groups, photography lovers come to Flickr to share their passion, discover spectacular images, hone their craft, and engage with friends old and new.“We share SmugMug’s mission to cater to people—professionals, amateurs, and everybody in between— who invest time, energy and love into their photos,” said Andrew Stadlen of Flickr. “We look forward to becoming part of the SmugMug family and continue to grow, innovate and delight our global community of photographers.”

SmugMug has purchased Flickr and vowed to revitalize the photo service that has for some time been left to itself.

I had a chance to chat with Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug about the acquisition. Here is what he said;

Tell us a little bit about why SmugMug acquired Flickr?

Since the beginning our focus has been on the photographer, and our investment in Flickr reaffirms our dedication to this vibrant community of creators. Together, SmugMug and Flickr represent the world’s most influential community of photographers. The opportunity to unite these two communities and businesses was one we couldn’t pass up.

What is the plans with the coming over the coming 2-3 years?

For now there will be no immediate changes to Flickr services. In the near term we plan to listen to the community, which is what we have done since we started SmugMug.  So for now, listen to the community and their needs and go from there.

What are the plans with the current Flickr team?

The Flickr staff will continue to operate from San Francisco and remain in their current roles. We have no plans for changes to Fantastic staff—they will be a critical part of the brand’s next chapter as part of the SmugMug.  Andrew Stadlen and Eric Willis will join SmugMug’s leadership where they will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the brand.

What does this mean for photographers across the globe?

The Flickr community is healthy and thriving, and for the time being will continue to operate as a separate brand. Moving forward, we will look for opportunities to bring photographers together to share and inspire one another as they hone and grow their craft. We will be able to share more details on our plans in the coming weeks and months. SmugMug and Flickr, together will continue to innovate based on the specific needs of the photographers we serve.

Do you see this acquisition as the first of many for SmugMug?

Our focus for the immediate future is to bring the Flickr community and its employees on to the SmugMug successfully, listen to the community and ensure the future of Flickr is a success.

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.