SmugMug struggling with being Flickr owner?

According to the Register, Flickr’s current owners Smugmug are not seeing as much profit from running the site as they expected, so have taken to asking for money from users.

This is a worrying development, many of our users will know of the login problems and you can see from the comments on our site here that this is/was a widespread problem.

This latest development does not fill us with much confidence, but we sincerely hope Flickr can turn it around.

Flickr needs your help. It’s still losing money,” wrote Don MacAskill, co-founder and CEO of SmugMug, earlier this week in a mass email to users that implored them to subscribe to Flickr’s premium service, Flickr Pro.

Last year, the niche image hosting platform SmugMug acquired Flickr from Oath — the company founded by Verizon media to manage the remnants of Yahoo! and AOL, which it had acquired in 2017 and 2015 respectively.

A site like Flickr would always pose challenges to its owners. The contemporary online sphere is fundamentally different to what it was in 2004, when current Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield first founded the site. The rise of Facebook, as well as backup services like Google photos, have arguably diluted its raison d’étre. At least, as a mass-market product.

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