Flickr or How to Screw Your Customers

1-Feb-2011, Flickr has updated its community guidelines, that's the rules for posting your photos on Flickr. Yahoo! bought Flickr in 2005. Posting your photos has many restrictions, but for $25 per year you can buy the Pro account. Many professional photographers use Flickr Pro to display their photos. Many museums and foundations also use Flickr.

There's been many problems with Flickr. Many paying customers have had their accounts deleted by Flickr's staff. The problem with Flickr deleting photographers accounts is that they delete the account and there is no going back. No warning, no explanation, too bad… If you don't like it, you should haven't used Flickr.

A big critic of Flickr is Thomas Hawk of Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection.

Examples of “unjust” deletions:

  • Flickr deletes Jolengs pro account with 3200+ photos: 2-Feb-2011
  • Flickr “accidentally” delete Mirco Wilhelm’s pro account with his 4,000 photos: 1-Feb-2011
  • Flickr deletes Deepa Praven's pro account with her 3,000 photos: 10-Jan-2011

Those are only the well publicised account deletions of this year only. Dozens more happen every month, but the people complaining about it do not make it “big”. Flickr says, it's a very small number when you look at the millions of photographers that use Flickr. I disagree, when your account is deleted, no warning, no appeal, no explanation. They don't have an “undelete account” procedure. That's it, deleted forever.

Back to the “updated” guidelines!

The main change is to allow for businesses, non-profits, and other organizations to have an account on Flickr.

Quote from the new Flickr guidelines:

Don’t use Flickr to sell.

If we find you engaging in commercial activity, we will warn you or delete your account. Some examples include selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream or in a group, using your account solely as a product catalog, or linking to commercial sites in your photostream. If you engage in commercial activity elsewhere on the internets or in the real world, you’re still welcome on Flickr—in fact, we’ve even set up some best practices especially for you. (their wording, my emphasis)

  • According to Flickr, thousandS of professional photographers are using Flickr. They've even created a Professional Photography group.
  • I agree that Flickr is one of the easiest way of putting photos on the web but…
  • Will you risk your business being deleted by Flickr?