Big day for Yahoo. Not only did Marissa Mayer announce the acquisition of Tumblr this morning, but Flickr has gone through its biggest revamp since the internet petitioned Mayer to save the photo service. The new Flickr site launched today, along with a new Android app with the same photo-centric interface (and full-resolution uploading capabilities) as its well-received iOS counterpart. Visit Flickr starting today and you'll see a redesigned front-page photostream of activity from friends, user landing pages that are reminiscent of Facebook and Instagram's profiles (with even bigger photos), and large text letting you know that you now have 1TB of free storage. Yup, that's terabyte with a T. But as Will is quick to point out, this ad-driven service may be a downgrade for existing Pro Flickr users who have been paying $25 a year for unlimited storage and no ads. So let's break down the features of the new free Flickr account and how it compares to the old free and Pro accounts.
Here's how the previous free Flickr account compares to the new free account. This applies to the vast majority of Flickr users (myself included), and is undeniably an improvement:
|Feature||Old Free Account||New Free Account|
|Total Storage||200 Photos||1TB|
|Maximum Size per photo||30MB||200MB|
|Video Uploads||2 videos||1080p, 1GB max|
|Video Limits||90 seconds||3 minute playback|
|Full resolution photo access||No||Yes|
|Photo pool contribution||10 pools||60 pools|
And here's how the new free Flickr account compares to the old Pro account:
|Feature||Old Pro Account||New Free Account|
|Maximum Size per photo||50MB||200MB|
|Video Uploads||1080p, 500MB max||1080p, 1GB max|
|Video Limits||90 seconds||3 minutes|
|Original photo size archiving||yes||yes|
|Photo pool contribution||60 pools||60 pools|
|Limiting max photo size for users||yes||yes|
The biggest three changes between the old Pro and new free accounts are storage capacity (unlimited vs 1TB), viewer statistics (no longer available), and the option to forego ads. To address those needs, Yahoo is offering an ad-free version of the free service, but that costs $50 a year (double the old Pro account rate) and only gets rids of ads. Yahoo also has a new Doublr account that has all the same features as the free account, but allows 2TB of storage for a staggering $500 a year. That's how confident Yahoo is that 1TB will be enough for the vast majority of its users, even its existing paying ones.
And if you're a Pro user who doesn't want to adopt the new model, you can continuing renewing your $25 a year account indefinitely (or until Yahoo decides to stop offering it) and retain the unlimited storage and ad-free benefits. If you're currently a Pro Flickr user, I'd love to know how much the unlimited storage really mattered to you (eg. did you ever surpass 1TB), how you used the viewer statistics, and if ads are that much of a detriment to the experience that you won't move to a free account.