Seven Unannounced Things from Flickr’s Redesign Announcement

Flickr LogoYesterday Yahoo announced major updates to Flickr, in an attempt to make Flickr cool again.

In looking at the site it’s easy to see the big sweeping changes, such as the new mosiac photo views that fill the page and the shift from a white background everywhere to using significant amounts of black. I love the new visual look… but there’s more than just a new face.

Unannounced Changes

Beyond the big visual shift, here are several changes or other things that weren’t part of the onstage announcements:

  • Pro accounts are going away. By now, all pro members should’ve received an email explaining that most of the benefits of Flickr Pro are now part of the free package. Existing Pro members will retain their current status until their accounts expire, but no new Pro memberships are being sold.
  • It’s confusing if a Pro account can be renewed. The announcements indicate that “recurring” Flickr Pro memberships will be able to be renenwed, but as far as I know Flickr always sold memberships one or two years at a time. Can those be manually renewed?
    UPDATE: Thomas Hawk confirms that some (most?) Flickr Pro accounts can’t be renewed.
    ANOTHER UPDATE: Turns out the inability for Pros to renew wasn’t on purpose, it was a bug.
  • There’s an ad-free option, but it costs twice as much as the old Flickr Pro accounts
  • You can no longer customize your Photostream view. In the past, users could choose whether they wanted single photos, collections, sets, or a mixture as the view for visitors.
  • Collections are being demphasized. Sets and Favorites still show on the Photostream’s navigation bar, but Collections are buried in a submenu. Given that I’d previously used Collections to funnel folks to my most important sets, I might need to rethink my organization strategy.

What Hasn’t Changed

I know that folks had a wishlist of what we might see out of a new Flickr, and there are two notable omissions:

  • Groups pages haven’t changed at all. We still have the same tiny thumbnails on the group page and the same discussion interface.
  • Still No Digital Sales; No Integration w/ Pro Labs for Prints or Products. Sites such as SmugMug and Zenfolio will continue to be better options for those looking to offer digital sales, prints, or products with their photos.

What do you think about the new Flickr? Are the changes likely to draw you in deeper? Push you away? How do you feel about the visual changes vs. the unannounced limitations?

I’m going to dive into my personal reactions and how it will affect my web presence in tomorrow’s Splat Photo email – if you’re not subscribed just leave your email in the orange box below this post.

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