A Free Terabyte from Flickr

by Barrett

Whenever you receive an email about a ‘change of service,’ smiling is usually not your first reaction. That said, your friends from Flickr seem intent on giving you a tickle. The hard part is deciding how your left brain should respond.

Whenever you receive an email about a ‘change of service,’ smiling is usually not your first reaction. That said, your friends from Flickr seem intent on giving you a tickle. The hard part is deciding how your left brain should respond.

I got an email from Flickr last week.
It said, “Smile. The Flickr You Love Just Got Better.”


Yahoo’s Flickr has just significantly upgraded its free account plan.
Before, they gave you a paltry storage limit of only 200 photos.
That’ll last you about fourteen minutes.

Now, the limit is a whopping 1 terabyte.

A free terabyte?!
Yahoo says that will get you over 500,000 photos.

I was a little dazed.
Didn’t know whether to smile or not.

Wasting $25 for Flicker Pro?
Before, it was a no brainer…
The old 200 photo limit clearly wasn’t enough.
So I’ve been shelling out $25/year for a Flickr Pro account, which gave me unlimited storage.
Problem solved, right?

But now… there’s the cool new ‘Free’ plan that makes the old Pro plan seems like an expensive downgrade.
A sudden dinosaur doomed for extinction.

(That said, dinosaurs aren’t so bad. My three-year-old ‘Indiana Jones’ has been teaching me how cool dinosaurs can be with his new T-Rex puzzle!)

This sounds like a SmackDown in the making between ‘Free’ and ‘Pro.’
How exciting!

Free is Hard to Beat
Unlimited is nice, but a terabyte is plenty of storage for all the photos you’d ever want to share.
Believe me, nobody wants to look at half a million of your photos online!
(yes, even mine)

But wait, there’s more!
Yahoo has juiced their free Flickr plan even further:

  • Before they gave you an upload limit of 300MB/month.
    Now, that’s unlimited!
  • Before, the maximum size per photo was 30 MB.
    Now, it’s 200MB.
    (But who really creates photos that large anyway?)
  • Before, you didn’t have full-resolution photo access.
    Now you do.
  • They’ve also expanded their video uploading and storage limits.
    (Though I’m not using Flickr for videos right now. I’ve got Vimeo for that.)

Legacy Flickr Pro
The Pro plan is no longer offered to new Flickr subscribers, but if you’re currently a Pro user, you can retain your legacy Pro account and get the following:

  • You’ll continue to have the same unlimited storage for your photos and videos
  • You’ll still get your detailed stats
  • You’ll be upgraded to the same photo and video size limits as the new free accounts.
  • And you’ll continue to have an ad-free experience

Deal or No Deal?
If you don’t think you need your Pro account anymore, Flickr is happy to switch you to a free account before August 20 and give you a prorated rebate.
(They’re so nice.)

So what do you really get for your $25 to stick with Pro?

For me, it comes down to the unlimited storage and the ban on ads.
And again, who really needs unlimited storage for sharing photos?

So, it’s the advertising.


Selling Your Soul for $25?
Look, I get that Yahoo needs to make a buck, and putting ads on your photo galleries is one way to do that.

I’m not angry with Yahoo for wanting to commercialize my photo pages.
I’m just not that happy about it.

So when Yahoo gives you an advertising out for $25/year…
I say, “Take it!!”

Yes!! I’ll pay $25 to have my photos and galleries remain ‘ad-free!’

Freedom Comes with a Price
If you also want an ad-free experience like me, but you aren’t currently a Pro subscriber, it’s going to cost you more:



See, you should have gone Pro when you had the chance.
It stinks to have to pay twice as much, but it’s still worth it.

Flickr also offers a new ‘Doublr’ account ,which gives you twice the storage of the new free account.

So that’s 2 terabytes for

Yes, it’s not a typo.
Not sure I understand the math here.

I’m paying $25 for unlimited storage, and some new guy is supposed to pay $500 for 2 terabytes, while his friend is getting 1 terabyte for free?

That’s just nutty.

Hey, how about 2 free Flickr accounts?!
That’ll do the trick.

What’s a Terabyte?
As a quick aside, I must mention that Flickr has a paragraph on its Accounts FAQ page titled, “What’s a Terabyte?”

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Yahoo feels the need to explain this.
Why, you ask?

The fact that Yahoo wants to share with you that a terabyte is a trillion bytes,
helps me feel like I’m not shooting too low in my knowledge-transfer goals on my blog.

That said, I feel compelled to share with you this additional data, which I learned from a cool Cisco report.
(Time to put on your nerd glasses!)

  • 1000 terabytes – 1 petabyte
  • 1000 petabytes = 1 exabyte
  • 1000 exabytes = 1 zettabyte

(See… a terabyte is already so yesterday!)

Maybe one day, Yahoo will offer up a zettabyte of storage for free with their new Virtual Reality Flickr accounts… perfect for your newly installed holodeck!

The Dinosaur Plan is Better
Let’s recap:

Once upon a time, I used to happily pay $99/year for MobileMe, which included Apple’s wonderful photo and video galleries.
Now in hindsight, 20 gigs of storage seem downright stingy.

A terabyte of free Flickr storage is just silly good!

But there are still the annoying ads.
$50/year is easily worth it to scrub those pesky ads off your galleries.

And $25 for unlimited storage (ongoing Pro subscribers only) is a downright bargain!

Yes, I’ve been designated a dinosaur by Flickr, but I feel they’ve actually handed me the deal of the year!

And if you were wondering…
Flickr has pledged to maintain the legacy Pro plan for existing users.
(Hee Hee Hee!)

Just be sure you’ve got a recurring Pro subscription…

Am I smiling, Flickr?
You betcha!