Flickr has lost some of its cachet as other photo services and social networks have risen in the intervening years to challenge it. But the Yahoo-owned company has just made a number of significant improvements that should make Flickr very attractive to people looking for an online home for their photos.
Among the big ticket improvements: you can now receive 1TB of free online storage for photos and videos and have access to high-resolution downloads in the event you lose those images on your PC.
That alone makes Flickr very attractive — most cloud services offer a range of between 1GB and 15GB worth of free storage before slapping you with monthly fees. Sites like Shutterfly or Snapfish offer unlimited storage, but require you to make annual purchases to keep your account in good standing.
Flickr does put some limits on what your free account can do: videos are limited to 1GB in size each, photos can be no larger than 200MB each and video playback is capped at three minutes.
How are they giving away so much free space? Flickr says you’ll see ads on your photo pages and throughout your browsing experience. Seems like a modest price to pay, but if you want an ad-free experience you can pay $49.99 a year to remove those ads. You also have the option to boost your storage to 2TB for $499.99 a year (also with no ads).
Flickr has also undergone a substantial redesign. You can now view images in full-screen and the layout has been changed to reduce the amount of white space that had plagued the original interface.
So is the new-and-improved Flickr a great space to store your images? I’d say, provisionally, yes. The 1TB of free space alone is enough to tempt those looking for a decent cloud back-up solution and the new layout provides a great way to view and organize your online images. What you won’t get is the seamless folder-syncing that other cloud services, like Box or SugarSync, offer. If you’re uploading photos from your desktop, you’ll have to do it manually (unless you use an Eye-Fi card, which can automatically upload your images to Flickr. You can also get a seamless upload experience if you shot photos using Flickr’s mobile app on your smartphone).
You can watch Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer give a walk-through of the new Flickr below.