“Better together.” That’s the message this week as two photo sharing giants come together. SmugMug was founded in the early aughts by photographers who knew the digital age meant it was time to develop a way to share digital photos. Flickr was founded by a Canadian corporation in 2004 and quickly acquired by Yahoo, where it grew into a massive platform with more than 80 million users.
However, Flickr struggled to keep up as Facebook and Instagram revolutionized the way we share images on the Internet. Despite this, Flickr stayed popular with both amateur and professional photographers for its core functionality: the ability to browse, share and display high quality images with a community of peers. Additionally, Flickr offered free accounts, while SmugMug charged a small subscription fee.
SmugMug has stated that it intends to continue to operate both Flickr and SmugMug as separate platforms and services, and invest in both moving forward. SmugMug has also reassured dedicated Flickr users that their free accounts and thousands of photos aren’t going anywhere. Only time will tell what changes this move will have on the online photography community, but so far there has been great enthusiasm for the acquisition.