Why is Flickr not Growing as Quickly as Instagram?

Man pushing snail up slowly ascending line on graph

As of 2017, Flickr has a huge user base of just over 50 million people. That’s quite an impressive number of users for something that has been around for just over a decade.

However when you compare Flickr to Instagram which has over 700 million active users and has only been around since 2010, you can see that the latter is the clear favourite of the two photo sharing websites.

So how comes Flickr isn’t growing as quickly as Instagram? Many people are very passionate about Flickr and consider it to be considerably better than Instagram for a number of reasons. If this is the case, then why is it that people prefer to take selfies and upload them to Instagram, and not Flickr? In a way, this question answers itself.

In recent times the nature of photography has shifted quite far from what it used to be. Ten years ago, both amateur and professional photographers were focusing on taking breath-taking pictures of landscapes, people, nature and different environments and cultures. These days people are taking pictures of their cats, their shoes and their meals.

It seems that actual photography has also changed considerably over the past decade. Less people are interested in truly beautiful photos, as has become clear when they prefer to use photo sharing websites like Instagram, that offer filters to completely transform your photos.

It’s somewhat ironic that cameras have been developed for many years, and have been constantly improving alongside technology to the point where almost everyone you know has a very powerful camera in their pocket at all times. These cameras have the ability to take some very crisp and clear photos, and people use them to take some fantastic looking snaps. The problem is that the same people take these photos and would rather upload them to an app that puts a filter over the top and decreases the quality of the picture, than to a website where they can archive the photo neatly and interact with a likeminded community about it.

As strange as it may be, this just is the way the world of photography is evolving. There doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do about it either, as it just seems to be the latest trend.

Maybe over the coming years if Flickr is able to hold its own, then there may be a slight shift in the growth of Flickr and Instagram, with more people opting to switch to the former in the hope of having a worthwhile way of storing their treasured photos. Either way it seems unlikely that Flickr will ever be as big or bigger than Instagram, as Instagram are already owned by Facebook who have almost 2 billion active users.

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