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May 21, 2013

I've just signed up to an account at Ipernity because of the Yahoo recent changes to a functional but unhip Flickr, which are designed to reinvent Flickr as a new “hip” photo site.

I understand that the reason behind the changes is to make money from advertising to keep Flickr going. Flickr is just a business — and not a profitable one at that. The site has remained stagnant, unchanged with the exception of thousands of new members and a few social features. The site looked dated. Change was needed. However, I thought that the new layout design, though glossy, was poor in terms of functionality. The redesign looked rushed and it looks more of a mass photo storage site.

Gary Sauer-Thompson, Lake Pedder, Tasmania, 2011

The retooled Flickr, user interface, which looks more like Instagram, and its new pricing is designed to push out the old Pro community users who had focused on quality and community. It represents a change from the old Flickr as a subscriber-based photography site to a new Flickr as an ad platform for everyone who snaps pictures with its Tumblr-style stream of large-format photos.

The key feature of Flickr has always been the community aspects, and the redesign diminishes or hides those in many ways. What I really liked about the old Flickr is seeing the work being done by my various contacts and then learning from the stream of work. This community of Pro users were interested in photography, art, composition and all the things that made taking photos good. This unhip Flickr gave you information on the camera used, aperture, shutter settings and allowed you to interact with the photographer to learn more.

The new Flickr is tapping into the young social media demographic so as to sell user eyeballs to advertisers to increase revenue. It now looks and feels just like every other photo-stream or sharing service. Yahoo wants free users because they're banking on making most of their profits via the advertising.

Mine is a low key presence on Ipernity because I am not sure how I will use Ipernity, which is a photo sharing site that's very reminiscent of Flickr's old interface. I will continue to use Flickr and post my photographs on my blogs: eg., Rhizomes1, poodlewalks, and Tumblr. I will keep my pro account.

In the short term I will use Ipernity more for the experimental side of my photography, such as pictures that I consider would be worthwhile to go back to and reshoot; or photos from projects that I am working on for exhibitions but didn't make the cut. I currently imagine Ipernity as an out take stream of my work in the first instance, so there won't be many uploads as I wait to see how it Ipernity evolves with respect to both functionality and community. I'm hedging my bets

I understand that there has been a mass migration of film photographers from Flickr to Ipernity since the changes. Flickr has failed to give us set up options from which we can choose how we want our photos displayed. Nor do they care if every Pro user leaves and goes to another site. This groups is not important to their business plan or their bottom line as it is only the 10 or 20 thousand Pro users out of millions of total Flickr users complaining.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:06 PM |