smugmug buys flickr


Big news, smugmug buys flickr. Got the notification:

SmugMug has acquired Flickr.
If you use our products today, rest easy, they aren’t going anywhere.
The future is bright, but we’ll only get there together.
Let’s do this.

I don’t know whether to be glad, relieved or afraid. I’m hoping for the best, because under yahoo, it couldn’t have gotten worse. What used to be one of the best photography websites was completely and utterly rundown by a monster corporation. Many people are surprised flickr is still around.

I’ve heard of smugmug, they seem to be doing well in their niche market of providing storage and sharing facilities for professional photographers. An independent business, they’ve never taken on outside investment nor have they shown any interest in buyout offers. CEO Don MacAskill seems to understand, and has stated that he is a longtime fan of flickr:

Flickr is an amazing community, full of some of the world’s most passionate photographers. It’s a fantastic product and a beloved brand, supplying tens of billions of photos to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

There can be overlap. Smugmug’s core users are enthusiasts and professionals, flickr has professionals but are mainly for enthusiasts and casual users. This is a way for smugmug to expand its business.

There are a massive number of loyal flickr users. If smugmug makes it great again, I’ll probably go back to paying for pro. Member since 2005 with over 33k pics.

Oh, a little tidbit. Did Stewart Butterfield consider buying flickr back: