Is Flickr Flickering Out?
For years I have used Flickr as my platform of choice for curated albums of the pictures most important to me. I don’t always have time to methodically sort rank and categorize the pictures I take, and Lightroom and Photos serve as repositories for everything I shoot. However, I do take the time once every couple months to identify the pictures I like best and create small albums on Flickr. I like Flickr’s mobile interface and this has provided me with quick access to my favorite photos in chronological albums. This has proven to be very handy when I quickly want to find a good shot or two without wading through tens of thousands of photos in the larger libraries I maintain.
Undoubtedly other services have evolved, as well as their supporting technologies like face detection, location identification, and automated creation of automations and mosaics. I’ve jumped into most of these, and no doubt my approach in Flickr could be replicated on many platforms, including Google Photos and Apple’s Photos. An in fact I am in the process of doing just that. However, I put a lot of time into the curation aspect of Flickr, and continue my approach on that platform as well.
Unfortunately, Flickr appears to be suffering on a number of fronts, including the ongoing uncertainty of its parent Yahoo. Development of the platform seems to have all but stopped, and I am becoming increasingly concerned for Flickr’s future.
While I’m continuing to create albums on Flickr, I am also taking proactive preventive steps should something tragic occur with Flickr. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do yet with the backup of the albums on Flickr, but I feel better I know I have them, and that they are in my control. While the original photos reside somewhere in my primary libraries, a large amount of time went into selecting and editing the photos on Flickr, and I don’t want that to be for naught.
Fortunately Flickr makes it very easy to download your albums, albeit one at a time. If it is possible to download in bulk, I have not found that information, but downloading by albums gives me complete control over the process, and it is not too time consuming so long as you have a relatively fast internet connection.
I’ve chosen to save my albums in a folder structure sorted by year. The albums are downloaded as ZIP files, then expanded within their year folders. I then delete the Zip file, and the result is a nice folder structure of all my curated albums organized by year, that I can then point other applications to, including potential use as a referenced library.
I have to admit I feel much more comfortable now that I’ve taken this step. I’m going to be optimistic and continue to use Flickr, but just in case, I have a nice safety net now.