Sunday, April 22, 2018

SmugMug Acquires Flickr

Jessica Guynn (via Andy Baio, Hacker News):

SmugMug, an independent, family-run company, will maintain Flickr as a standalone community of amateur and professional photographers and give the long neglected service the focus and resources it deserves, MacAskill said in an exclusive interview.

He declined to disclose the terms of the deal, which closed this week.


The surprise deal ends months of uncertainty for Flickr, whose fate had been up in the air since last year when Yahoo was bought by Verizon for $4.5 billion and joined with AOL in Verizon’s Oath subsidiary.

Don MacAskill:

We are committed to a huge, healthy, vibrant community of people using the Free plan. :)

Nelson Minar:

Everyone excited about the SmugMug / Flickr news (ie: fellow old people) may enjoy this other happy story about SmugMug saving a bunch of photos lost by Picturelife as that company ran out of money.

Riccardo Mori:

SmugMug acquiring Flickr makes me oddly hopeful. I still use and love Flickr, and I hope it’ll be able to gain back the relevance points it had been losing in recent times.

(So come on, pundits, a bit of enthusiasm, instead of this “Ahh, remember Flickr? Good times” attitude.)

Anil Dash:

I am excited to see an independent company that cares about photography and has a long-term sustainable business model become a steward for Flickr. We need open, indie social platforms more than ever on the web right now.

See also: Flickr, Flickr Code, SmugMug.

Previously: Verizon Acquires Yahoo.

Update (2018-04-29): Glenn Fleishman:

SmugMug and Flickr aren’t precisely yin and yang in the audiences they serve and features they offer. But they do represent two distinct approaches to photo sharing and community interaction. SmugMug, founded in 2002, has charged a subscription fee from the first day, and focuses on beautiful presentation of photos and on services for semi-pro and professional photographers rather than social networking. It’s never raised venture-capital funding, and several family members are in key positions.


MacAskill says he knows there will be challenges in meshing these two distinct cultures, but adds that he did the deal because of Flickr’s unique strengths. “Both companies really stand for photography and for photographers,” he says. SmugMug had been wrestling for years with the question of how to add a free tier in a way that would complement its paid services and encourage more participation; Flickr, which offers a terabyte of photo storage for free, may be part of the solution.

Don MacAskill:

No need to know or care about @SmugMug plan types - we're not merging the two. We're also not Flickrizing SmugMug, not SmugMugging Flickr. Stick with what you love - and know that we love you for it.

Update (2018-11-06): See also: Triangulation.

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