Don MacAskill, CEO of Smugmug.Inc said he was committed to breathing a whole new life, calling Flickr as the core to the fabric of the entire internet. In April last year, Flickr a photo storing service was bought by Smugmug another photo storing service from Verizon’s digital media subsidiary.
The cost of acquiring Flickr was not revealed but MacAskill’s email to the users lets us think the operating costs are higher than expected. In an email written to all the users, MacAskill was found asking the users to find some more users who would use the paid service. He was asking the users who pay around $50 per anum, to find someone who is interested in using the annual subscription plan.
MacAskill added that “Smugmug could not continue to run Flickr in losses which we are doing now“. To attract more users Flickr is offering a discount of 25% on its website by using code 25in2019.
In just months after acquiring Flickr, Smugmug changed the plans of free use of its service with paid one. It is offering only 1000 photos per account holder at zero cost. If the photos exceeded that number and the users didn’t upgrade with a paid service, Flickr warned the users of deleting the pictures.
Beyond its operational costs, SmugMug, like so many other firms, also got stuck in a dispute recently when the New York Times reported that millions of Flickr images dating back to its 2005 founding had been sucked into a facial-recognition database called MegaFace to train a new set of face identification algorithms.
Ben MacAskill, COO of Smugmug said, “the pictures that were accessed by MegaFace were pre-dated and represent the time when Smugmug didn’t acquire Flickr“. And he also assured the users of developing an update and as soon as possible.
Flickr was founded by the entrepreneurs Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield in 2004. It was sold to Yahoo next year and swooped into Verizon as part of its acquisition by Yahoo in 2016. Now it is again in the same situation as before.
Flickr now is left with only two options- Either more people subscribe to the service or someone comes to help Flickr with the funds required to keep it running.
If either of this doesn’t work then we have to forget the service including a large number of pictures saved on it.