Flickr Has Always Sucked… Now it Sucks More!

A lot of the people I know and work with just can’t help doing a little dance whenever they think of Flickr. They’re constantly raving about how wonderful it is to join this silly little community of photo sharing web pedestrians. I, for my part have always been skeptical. Everyone who blogs needs a way to incorporate photos into their posts, and to be fair, Flickr does make this easy. I, however, have always liked the idea of controlling my own content, so decided to use Gallery2 and its WPG2 integration with WordPress.

This solution worked well for a long time, but suddenly the iPhoto uploader to Gallery2 broke, and I was faced with a decision. I reluctantly decided to try Flickr. After struggling for what seemed like hours, I finally managed to find a crappy Yahoo username that I could only half tolerate. I tried it, but quickly gave up because I could never remember the cryptic username I had selected.

Casey reminded me that he had invited me to Flickr before they had merged with Yahoo, and that I had created an oldskool, non-Yahoo Flickr account with my normal human readable username. I decided to give it another shot. I hated the restrictive terms of service, and the dozens of clicks it took to get a different sized image, but I tolerated it because images were easy to upload. I even went so far as to create a Pro account.

Well, that all came crashing down around me, and thousands of other Flickr users today when I received notification that Flickr was forcing all their users to merge with a Yahoo account! I was furious! I do not have a lot of images in Flickr, but many of them are linked and presented in this site, and I really don’t want to take the time to go back and change all those links. I would have to create a Yahoo account and merge it thanks to Flickr’s Nazish new policy.

I’m not the only one who is cheesed off either. has been following the forums and has compiled a collection of peoples complaints.

One user had this to say:

What really pisses me off is Yahoo’s God-awful ID setup. It took me over an hour this morning to set up an ID, mostly because every name I tried was taken – including random letters I got by hitting the keyboard in frustration. So now I’m stuck with a username I didn’t want, can’t change, don’t like, and won’t remember.

Another user writs:

Is yahoo offering any sort of counselling for people who go into fits of rage after the 387th attempt to find an available user ID that doesn’t suck?

I could not agree more. It took me forever to find a username, and as before, it’s cryptic, and I will never remember it. Somehow I very much doubt that my Flickr Pro account will stand the test of this betrayal. I have never really liked Flickr, but tolerated it. This will most likely be the last straw for me. I’m just glad I left my Gallery2 integration up and running!

25 thoughts on “Flickr Has Always Sucked… Now it Sucks More!

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  2. I’ve got a coworker who almost had me convinced to switch over to using flikr. I’m glad now I’ve been dragging my feet. For me it’s not such a problem as far as the yahoo account is concerned. I’ve had one for what seems eons now since I needed it for a whitewater kayaking community.

    What concerns me more is the swift changes in policy such as this which leave the images you stored inaccessible by dozens to hundreds of archived links.

    It also makes me wonder what might happen to your images in the future.

  3. WOW!!!! I knew there was a reason I loved Gallery! I will certainly take you up on your offer to help Bharat! Thank you so much. The truth is that I’ve been using Gallery all along, but whenever I needed to upload a large number of photos I tended towards Flickr since I could do it directly from iPhoto. If I could just get back to adding photos to Gallery with iPhoto I would be in heaven! WOW AGAIN… A developer from Gallery comments on my blog… You’re making me blush!

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  5. I’ve always liked flickr for blogging, but this whole mess has been kind of a turn off for me. And yahoo’s “new” photos tool is uber crappy to use, they’re going to ruin what used to be a really good service.

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  7. Flickr sucks for a lot more reasons than you’ve mentioned here. I hope you don’t mend me crossposting something I’ve posted elsewhere, but…

    First off, due to paypal problems I was charged twice for Flcikr and now I can’t get a refund for the second year of “pro” subscription that I didn’t want to purchase to begin with. But that’s another story. After a few months with Flickr, I don’t even want my first year. I honestly cannot understand why everybody likes Flickr so much.

    Flickr’s “organizer” is totally buggy. I spend hours with it alternately showing me my pictures and then suddenly telling me I had none, even though I have over 2000 uploaded. If you hunt, they provide a link to an older organizer version, which has the same problem.

    Flickr is totally inflexible. They give you abolutely no way to control other order photos are displayed in your “photostream” except by upload order. Whose brilliant idea was that? Also their display options for your main page layout are all bad. I don’t like any of them.

    Flickr’s support is, if my experience was typical, completely nonexistent. Having paid my money, I contacted support about the issue I was having with Organizr. My support request was ignored completely. All I ever heard back was a survey questionairre from Yahoo two weeks later asking how my support experience was. You’d better believe I told them.

    Above all, Flickr’s ideas about how your photos should be presented are awful and, once again, this is not flexible. Universally throughout Flickr, your photos are cropped into little square partial thumbnails which, unless you’re taking snapshots where you care solely about the subject and not the composition of your photos, make it literally impossible to tell what your photographs look like (not to mention that it violates the “no derivatives” Creative Commons license that Flickr itself offers.)

    I challenge you to go into the Flash-based Organizr – when it’s not telling you you yor photos don’t exist – and put together a gallery of your best shots. If you are like me, and take many photos of a subject, you’d better have the best shots tagged before upload because you’re not going to be able to evaluate your composition in Organizr once your photos have been chopped into little squares. On occasion, I’ve been unable to identify what a photo was even of because they cropped out the most important details (and this wasn’t an unusual subject, It was a friend of mine standing up… they cropped his head out of the thumbnail so I couldn’t even tell what it was a picture of. Brilliant.) And aside from any rational reason, the fact is: I don’t want people seeing my photographs displayed as little partial squares, or to be required to click on an altered version to see what the photograph actually looks like. Ever. That’s why I picked a “no derivatives” license. But Flickr seems to feel that I don’t need a say in this, or that they’re above the restrictions of the CC licenses they promote.

    Finally, I had the frustrating experience of posting in Flickr’s “improvement suggestions” forum that, y’know, maybe Flickr shouldn’t be arbitrarily cropping our photos and showing them to the public that way, or should at least give us an option to turn it off and leave our photos unmolested. I got hit with a tidal wave of strongly negative reactions (including a some personally incensed sounding oes that have since been deleted.) Several users with “pro” accounts replied that that square thumbnails were crucial to Flickr’s “site branding” and page layout, among other things and that they’d hate to see them go – it was like they cared more about Flickr than about their photographs. I was also then cautioned by them – the “pro” users – to do my photo organizing offline if I wanted to be able to see what my photos actually look like, and that Flickr is no more reliable than my own hard drive for backing up my photos, and that most people do not use Flickr for archiving their photos, either. In fact, one highly-active user told me doesn’t upload 90% of his photos. So, pro users feel that Flickr is not good for photo organizing, too unreliable for backup, and don’t even even upload the vast majority of their photos to it in any way… I was left questioning, what the $#$%# did I just pay $50 for? I felt like I just paid good money for nothing more than to join a bulletin board, a glorified version of MySpace, except with a vague focus on posting snapshots for strangers to see. I’m left having paid my money (twice, due to Paypal’s lousy design and policies) and *still* shopping for a decent photo hosting service.

  8. Another reason Flickr sucks is because they have no customer service and they delete accounts without warning and without explanation for violating their intentionally vague and corny sounding terms of service. I lost my “safe” rated pro account last weekend over for no apparent reason. There was no porn, nudity, or stolen content on it. Also, I orded prints from them every couple of months as well. They were making money. That said, Flickr probably has millions of worthless free acounts that either contain no content, or else only stolen porn and “my d__k” pictures taken on a cellphone. Given their policies, that’s exactly what they deserve.

    Perhaps I just blocked someone who was too closely connected to an employee or perhaps my account fell victim to a disgruntled employee. Hopefully, when microsoft takes over, they will end the free reign of flickr employees and start thinking about rational things, like making money, rather than allowing a bunch of adolescents to run the show. They run things way too much like one would run facebook or myspace, without realizing that photos are what make them money and draw views to their advertisers. When they delete high-end accounts like mine that were getting lots of views and ordering lots of prints, they are not maximizing profits. They need to go back to buisness school.

  9. @Former Flickr User
    I have my compassion with you. and also i blame myself for not reading your post earlier. My PRO account deleted in exactly similar fashion:
    DELETED by disgruntled flickr employee (you may guess who) who believe themselves to be sitting at the doors of flickr and consider their pro users to be assholes who have no sense of community ethics.

    Flickr seems to be extremely creepy about their behaviour. Dont’ go for account on flickr, you will end up paying heavily for a account that gets deleted at the whim of f*cking flickr employees.

    I just deleted my account with flickr because they censored my protest art. they claimed i was harassing/abusing other members by having it posted there.

    My artwork had words that said “summertownsun sucks”. I put this artwork up in protest of summertownsun complaining that i was infringing on their copyrighted work (which flickr then removed). but the work that summertwonsun is claiming as theirs is actually in the public domain.

    so i protested by creating a piece of artwork (you can see it on my blog” Over 40 and Feeling Fine”. So flickr, in all its controlling, tightwad glory, will censor artwork if someone complains about it. hello, every heard of free speech. Now i am going to have to make another piece of art called Flickr Sucks!

  11. Flickr allows adult content which has gained it huge traffic and popularity. Trouble is, you need a special breed of moderator and defined moderation rules to control this content.
    Take it from me; an adult webmaster from internet day one, they have no clue and will fall hard in the not too distant future.
    Full marks to the guys who created the original model, taking a chunk of Yahoo’s riches was indeed a sweet result.

  12. Found my ID, setup everything, set my photos as restricted and shared primarily with friends and still got my account deleted.

    Unlike some I had no pornographic images only candid shots of people in public places. Glad I waited and didn’t pay for the suck fest that is Flickr

  13. Hello all,

    I think I might be able to add some more to the debate on why Flickr sucks.

    I wrote this blog post on my experiences. I am still seething at the treatment meted out to me.

    These people took my money and took the large number of hits I generated for them. Then they cut me off without warning , without subsequent explantion – and from what I can see, with little cause.

    Please feel free to spread this round:

    Thanks also for the tips and info on other ways to share and integrate pictures on blogs.

  14. Flickr is total B.S. I was so jolly when uploading my sports photography pictures at sporting events and the whole time I thought that it was free. Came to find out after 200 uploads, it wasn’t free at all and you have to pay 25 freaking dollars to keep up your account every year. Does anybody know of any other photo sharing websites??(besides photobucket and obviously flickr)

  15. I wish I had read this before paying for a pro user account on Flickr and spending six hours struggling through their incredibly user-unfriendly uploading and organizing processes. I should not have to take the equivalent of a college course to be able to use it, but if you don’t take their intro to the site course you will be floundering around even more helplessly.

    I can’t believe that a site that gets so much buzz is as bad as this one. There is nothing remotely intuitive about it and the user has to really have everything organized and thought out in advance, since the last thing you loaded is the first thing people see. If you are loading photos from a trip in sequential order, it will be exactly backwards when you are done.

    It is impossible to direct people to a simple link to view your photos, even after they have gone to the trouble of creating a yahoo account. When they sign in the top page has all kinds of crap all over it, even advertisements – it is absolutely impossible to figure out what you are supposed to click on to view the photos you have been invited to see and that you just went to the trouble of creating a yahoo account for.

    You have no control over the photos displayed by your account name. Whatever you last uploaded is what the visitor will see. I went to a great deal of trouble creating sets in a single category, each with a description, that Flickr reduced to thumbnails and no description. The user has to know to click on “Details” to see a photo and accompanying paragraph, and even those are reduced and require another click to see in full,

    Even if they do that, the gymnastics they have to go through to get to the next photo let alone the next set makes the whole experience filled with clicks that get you nowhere. Very unpleasant experience all around and I am really upset that I wasted my time and money on such a crappy application that is obviously all about marketing and nothing else.

  16. I am so glad to find a place to
    VENT about FLickr and about PICASA while I’m at it.
    In trying to post a simple home-made screen show to have my family look at and reminisce about past reunions, I ran into first of all, poor quality rendering on Picasa….then, I switched to Flickr which I had heard was so “great!”.
    They arbitrarily only allow a 90 second video to “free” account holders. Their HELP topics are different everywhere you look ….I wasted tons of time trying to upload my video before I got “help” in the form of “gee sorry, we have this Time limit” blah-de-blah! I am so underwhelmed!

  17. The community of fanboys at Flickr forums and official groups is also nauseating to the extent of inducing vomit. If you dare challenge their conventional ways of thinking or try to get them to accept something new they don’t like, they will attack you like rabid dogs trying to get at a piece of meat.

    They’re a bunch of close minded morons.

  18. Flickr wrote me a email asking me to remove links to my site in the description of over 5000 images of mine.

    Now they have blocked all of my photos from appearing in their search engine.

    Sorry I wasted my time putting photos on Flickr, I am switching to Picassa owned by Google, to host my photos besides on my website.

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