30 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why Flickr Sucks Harder Than a Turbo-Charged Vacuum Cleaner

  1. I actually pulled Contently Managed – and my own personal account – from Flickr (as well as that of the clients I use) because it is so unfriendly. Even trying to login – using Yahoo setups – is time intensive.

    I’ve noticed a few people are now just spending time putting their pics up onto Facebook pages instead and sending people there – does all the same stuff and opens it up to an equally good sized audience.

  2. Points two and three are the same. Or are you using the Kryten defence – it’s the same point repeated to emphasise how important it is? 😉

    Anyway, let me get this straight. You breached the terms and conditions of using Flickr. And because you were penalised for doing so… you’re complaining?

    Surely the lesson here isn’t just that Flickr sucks (which it does, and worse since Yahoo started gypping about with it) but that you should always read the small print?

    • Iain, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I normally don’t criticize others for voicing their own. However, since you blasted scottdouglas I don’t mind blasting yours. Your point is that he should have read the fine print of “terms of service”. The problem is the terms are so vague that they can be interpreted to mean almost anything and applied to almost any situation. I too had a pro account. I prepaid for 2 years. About a month later my account — and all pictures — disappeared without warning. After inquiring to yahoo, they first gave the same vague response about community guidelines they gave scottdouglas. That didn’t tell me anything. I pressed further and received equally vague response. Its been over a year so I don’t have the message anymore, but the problem is there was no warning, no attempt to give you a chance to correct whatever they considered a “violation”. If I had used Flickr as a sole means to store my pictures (given that it is yahoo I felt safe in this regard) I would have permanently lost all my pics. Yahoo’s attitude is “well if you didn’t violate our terms of service, you wouldn’t have lost your pics”. I prepaid for 2 years of service. There is no refund, just raspberries from Flickr. No other company I have worked with treats their paying customers this way. Yahoo lost, not just a future stream of income from me, but from what I researched, countless others as well. Flickr is arrogant and high and mighty. And no, after reading the fine print I still feel I complied with their requirements.

      • Agreed, its one thing to violate terms, buts a whole other thing when it is not apparent what the violation is and the scum running the company refuse to honestly respond. Flickr sucks.

  3. Ahhh – well spotted and thanks for that. I spent so long preparing this post that when it came to the cut and paste job, I managed not miss how I’d somehow repeated the same point twice.

    That has now been fixed.

    Yes, I intend to bitch as loudly as I can because I’m still not sure that I did breach Flickr’s Ts&Cs.

    Even if I did, that’s no excuse for the subsequent shabby customer service. So there.

  4. dear Sir/Madam
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    what is means turbo in vacuum cleaner?
    sa’di kooshandeh

  5. I feel my Head was so much up my @$$ that I would at every turn tell people how great flickr was. Well this has all changed when a flickr pal informed me (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had taken one of my photo’s without telling me or paying a fair market value for my work! So I changed a lot on what I post on flickr and most of my old photos have been placed in private. My Stats on must days were above 150 hits sometimes as high as 500 hits a day. Now I’m below 100 I feel flickr aka Yahoo has let me down and they don’t give a damn. My attorney is drafting a letter to The Daily Show to see if any money is to come my way. Which if I had to put odds on I would say it’s about a 1% chance of getting any. I feel like S@#T, flickr over the last several years has helped me with the death of my Dad and the ups and downs of life. And now to find out that all along I have been screwed by other people and companies that don’t give a DAMN about me the Artist/Photographer well I Say maybe its time we find a Good Attorney and file a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT to get these social websites to pay for all what they have done!!!

  6. @Iain: Flickr’s terms of service are vague and nebulous, and enforcement is notoriously arbitrary. This is hardly the first story like this I’ve heard. They also suck in a lot of other ways, like censorship and not caring about and tacitly encouraging copyright abuse.

  7. I’d like to add that the community of members who hang out are Flickr are the worst kind of rabid fanboys you can ever find on the internet.

    Even a pack of Alsatian dogs let loose on raw meat would be more refined compared to the kind of personal attacks they launch when you dare to _suggest_ that something Flickr does is wrong or its features don’t work as advertised.

    Waste of time, waste of money. Luckily I’ve not bought pro. I’ll most likely be deleting the account I have on there.

  8. Back in the mists of time and long before Yahoo’s involvement I had a free Flickr account simply because back then there were virtually no other photo sharing services like it and certainly not much in the way of social networking sites at all. I used it as a means of sharing a few pictures with friends as it sure beat emailing files all the time.

    Much has changed since then and looking at the benefits of a “pro” account I just don’t see the point aside from the fact that most of the “pro’s” seem pretty internet/tech challenged and perhaps feel it’s the best way to get some exposure online.

    Having recently revisited a couple of groups that were of interest to me and read through some of the discussions, Hari’s comment above comes as no surprise. There are so many unjustifiable egos vying for attention and it seemed to me that snobbery and patronizing attitudes are quite prevalent. Now, I’m sure there some very competent photographers using Flickr, but judging by what I’ve seen in recent days of lurking, a lot of the advice givers and judgmental types exhibit a pretty uniform standard of uninspiring, unimaginative, technically poor and weakly composed images.

    One case in point was a “baby boomer” type female who bragged about her 30+ years of photographic experience, courses attended and clubs joined on her profile, was quick to snipe at others and dole out advice, obviously believing she is some type of guru. Yet her photo stream was, quite frankly, the poster child for incompetence behind a lens.

    In one thread she berated a poster for giving an opinion on the software he favoured for PP noise reduction. It was a rude and childish spat, for which at least some others had the gumption to call her out on, and yet her obvious unfamiliarity and ineptitude with PP, and, in particular, noise reduction is blatantly obvious. As she only posts medium size images of her “work” as she grandly dubs it, you would think that noise would not be an issue but some are so bad they look like freaking news print even at such small sizes. God only knows how awful they must look at 100% but I’d be willing to bet that 99.8% are OOF on top of all the other technical deficiencies. Of course, all her “work” is “all rights reserved” and “this user has disabled downloading of their photos” although I would think it hardly necessary to be honest. Then again this is the true mark of the misguided who think their snapshots have some kind of value to anyone but themselves. But then, this experienced and learned soul shoots still life in broad daylight at ISO1600, on an Olympus entry level DSLR (not knocking them, I shoot Olympus too and they are great cameras) with vast areas of sky and water in the frame and then publishes the hugely grainy and often overexposed washed out mess for all to see. The only reason for this is that she obviously believes they are good photographs; her best efforts.

    This being Flickr of course, there are still the usual “awesome”, “great capture” “wow you are so talented” comments and other drivel from people who are either a) blind b) stupid c) lonely or d) all of the above. This is perhaps why people who take crap photographs congregate at places like Flickr because very few people tell them the truth or give them any kind of genuine feedback or criticism. If, after 30 years, you are that incompetent, perhaps it is a good time to take up knitting instead. It would save a lot of money too.

    Many Flickr users could benefit from trying their hand at microstock. I say this because if you want honest feedback from experienced and competent photographers, pro, semi-pro and amateur, you will certainly get it in most of the microstock forums on everything from technical failings to composition. That kind of feedback and constructive criticism will often sting but it will actually do something to help you improve as opposed to feeding your overblown ego and self esteem.

    In this modern age of affordable DSLR’s for the masses, it seems that as soon as you walk from the store clutching your new toy, you are transformed into a “photographer”. The more money they spend, the greater this conviction seems to be in their own little rabbit holes. I see this regularly as the owner of a fine art gallery when they stroll in off the street and proudly announce the very same thing – “oh, yes, well I’m a photographer actually…..” (usually minus portfolio or any kind of presentation at all, seeking representation as if it’s their right). To be honest, of those whose pictures I do get to see, virtually all are invariably of such a low standard that even the most untrained eye would be hard pushed not to notice how poor they are.

    Let’s face it, I can go out and buy the finest art supplies on the market today, set up the grandest studio money can buy, and christen myself an “artist” but the truth in that statement would be glaringly obvious after my first canvas. Talent is not taught. It can be coaxed, nurtured, nourished and developed, but the only thing that grows from nothing is a bit more nothing. Witness the “talent” shows on TV in this day and age, full of the deluded who have been raised to believe that wanting something is enough. It’s not.

    Sorry, my rant got totally off topic, but,in the final analysis, I don’t think you should view your loss of a Flickr account as much of a loss at all, notwithstanding the whole principle of its execution of course.

    • Thanks Maurice,

      Fantastic comment.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to post here.

      Also, I should say you have cut to the heart of the matter. The truth is we haven’t missed Flickr at all.

      As you point out, if they want juvenile spats and mindless “awesome photos” quotes, they are welcome to them.

      Thanks again for the comment.

    • ” I see this regularly as the owner of a fine art gallery when they stroll in off the street and proudly announce the very same thing – “oh, yes, well I’m a photographer actually…..” (usually minus portfolio or any kind of presentation at all, seeking representation as if it’s their right). To be honest, of those whose pictures I do get to see, virtually all are invariably of such a low standard that even the most untrained eye would be hard pushed not to notice how poor they are.”

      Depends, galleries are not close to being a final arbiter of what is quality. Take a walk through Chelsea sometime. The proof is in the viewing. Tho, the more haughty, supposedly the more expert.

  9. I read this, and I totally agree with you. I could not see why anyone would spend money on flickr when there are so many other places to share pictures. Now I have another 5 good reasons to take all of my 196 pictures elsewhere 🙂

  10. For reason No. 6, see:


    For reason No. 7, see:


    In case you didn’t read Reason No. 6, these are the flickr photos of Mathew Rothenberg, who runs flickr.com for Yahoo!

    Here is Mr. Rothenberg’s self-description:

    “I am a social technologist experienced in understanding how real people and communities interact with technology, and a product strategist experienced in leading cross-functional teams in producing great software. My goal is to build social software which will ultimately make the world a more interesting place.”


    I see no indication Rothenberg’s understanding of how real people interact etc. is any better than his photography.

    The redesign at flickr.com has made it harder to use, especially for newbies.

  11. Pingback: Photo Sharing Safety : The HomeSpun Life

  12. just spent a bunch of time organizing a set. Trying to save it and I get this BS message…

    There was an error and photos were not saved:

    I’m done with Flickr it’s a f*** POS. Horrible UI. Obviously designed by a bunch of Geeks with no clue.

  13. Could not agree more about flickr. I use Istockphoto a lot more than flicker, even though it is different, that is just as shitty.

    I am starting a business with the goal of disrupting Istock and Flickr and would love your guys help in brainstorming. I can ask some questions on here, or if its too spammy I can contact whoever wants through email.

    Not looking to promote the business, just want as much feedback on how to make the best site for photographers. Thanks!

  14. I typed a long response to Maurice, but it didn’t post………….GGGGRRRR.

    Anyway I’m not on flickr, and glad I’m not. I had heard of people stealing photos years ago and that’s why I didn’t go with them to begin with. I am however on Smugmug, and the community is really nice (although some on there seem no better than what I’ve read hear about the flickr people) but nobody gives an honest critique of your work. That’s what I’m really looking to find but have no idea where to REALLY find that.

    I know my work is not professional, maybe semi-pro on a good day. I know my images are not magazine quality and I’m not disillusioned about it, I know it’s going to take me time, I’ve put 4 years into working to get better and will probably spend many more ahead of me. I’ve spent the last 4 years, hundreds of dollars on books and classes by award winning photographers, spent countless hours reading blogs and books, and who knows how long practicing, and I’m still learning!

    The problem is that everybody has a camera now and think they are professional even though they haven’t spent a single minute learning anything about photography. I’m so tired of seeing average (at best and that’s being polite) pictures getting rave reviews yet often I personally see nothing breath taking about the photo, often they like like simple snapshots my 12 year old would take. Don’t get me wrong there are some amazing photos by some very talented people on smugmug, but it seems that more recently (probably because everybody thinks they’re now a professional because they have a point and shoot camera) the photos I see are nothing special. It seems to be happening more and more, at least I think so. I have a car and often speed, but it doesn’t make me an indy car driver!

    So anyway my question is this, where can I go to get honest critique from people who know what they are talking about? I’d like to get better with my photography, but it’s hard to do that when people don’t give you honest feedback, instead I see a lot of nice photo. No reasons what makes it nice, it makes me wonder if those in the communities are even professionals themselves or do they just have a little more talent than most point-and-shooters?

    Anyway if anybody can suggest a place where I can get HONEST CRITIQUE so that I may actually improve my photography then let me know (I’m currently looking at your site Lisa Bertolini. If anybody reading this would like to give me some honest feedback about my photography then I would like to hear it. And I’m not a big post processing wizard I know that’s my weakest link so I don’t really do a lot of it (just tweak the exposure, clarity and sharpness are about all I really touch) because I’ve seen some photos that could have been good, not great but still good, turned into horrible messes that make children cry for their mommies! Link to my smugmug: http://missyw.smugmug.com/

    Thanks for letting me rant 🙂

    • Oh and I forgot to tell everybody….so I looked at flickr just today and they say that the images are blocked from downloading (if set by the user I guess) but if I view it in another size outside of their original “set” or “gallery” or whatever…..it sure did let me download it! That’s one thing I do like about smugmug is I can block people from just taking my images, well at least not easily I suppose.

  15. Pingback: Over confidence « rantsofmissy

  16. Pingback: SOOLID blog » Blog Archive » Flickr e il kidnapping marketing

  17. Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

  18. they also like to F***k with all your yahoo accounts if you question them and then call them a$$holes for refusing to answer you.

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