Once the premiere community for photographers, Flickr has struggled to stay relevant in recent years. The company has been slow to innovate and adapt, facing fierce competition from hot alternatives like Facebook and Instagram. But for photographers who remain committed to Flickr as their platform of choice, the Pro account has been the way to go. With Flickr Pro, uploads and storage are unlimited, files are available in higher resolution, video is high definition, detailed stats are provided and there are no ads. Today, Flickr announced new options for upgrading to Pro, and all subscriptions will now automatically renew (with a reminder of course, and users can cancel at any time and continue using Pro until their subscription is set to end).
The cost per year remains at $24.95, as it has been for many years. A slightly higher priced three month option is available for $6.95, and a two-year subscription now costs $44.95 (previously it was $47.95).
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The new options are good for those who aren’t ready to commit to a full year, or those who subscribe every two years and now save a few dollars. The three month pricing plan is also ideal for those of you with photos that are stuck on Flickr that you’d like to move somewhere else. But Flickr’s also used the pricing changes as an opportunity to make its pricing seem more appealing than it really is. As I mentioned, a one-year subscription has been $24.95 for many years, but Flickr now advertises it on the upgrade page as a savings of $2.85 over the three month subscription (which would cost $27.80 over the course of a year). It’s not saving money; you’re just losing money with a three month subscription.
As Thomas Hawk points out, they use the same misleading logic for the two-year subscription, calling it a savings of $10.65 when it’s only $3 lower than the previous two-year subscription. Nonetheless, Hawk still believes it’s a “screaming good deal for a photographer like me.”
For casual photographers, however, sites like Google+ and Facebook often make more sense, and Flickr will have to do more than slightly tweak their pricing to stay relevant. The company promised big things and a renewed sense of focus for 2012, so Flickr users like myself can hope they’ll live up to that promise in the coming months.