Some time back, SmugMug bought Flickr from Verizon. The original plan was to incorporate Flickr accounts into SmugMug. Fortunately, SmugMug’s CEO had second thoughts and has decided to keep Flickr as a standalone platform. This is great news for the genealogy community. Flickr has served the genealogy community well by uploading our digitized images at their original resolution and size, providing tools to organize those photos, giving us control over who can and cannot view our them and offering social features like comments, in-house mail and discussions.
After years of neglect at Yahoo, Flickr looks a bit tired and many of its tools need updating. With SmugMug in charge, Flickr will once again be the platform we all know and love. This won’t happen overnight. First SmugMug will need to move all the Flickr content from Yahoo servers to their own. Logins be upgraded too. After all the compromised Yahoo accounts in the last few years, I’ll be happy to see that replaced. Both of these tasks will take time, but once that’s done we should see improvements to existing features and quite likely some new ones too.
I have been a Flickr user since 2005 and have more than 10,000 photos stored there. I’m looking forward to Flickr’s future. It already has a number of features making it very useful to the genealogy community and I am hoping to see even more.