Flickr users get massive 1TB of free (ad-funded) storage

22/05/2013

Yahoo has revamped its Flickr photo-sharing service, giving users up to 1TB of free, ad funded, storage for their own videos and photos.

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The news follows Yahoo’s purchase of popular blogging network Tumblr, which could become closely integrated with Flickr in the future.

The new Flickr will employ new advertising formats that Yahoo is still developing. Users who want to opt out of advertising can pay $49.95 a year to access an ad-free version.

Speaking at a New York press conference, Yahoo CEO Marrisa Mayer explained that the effort was intended to make the service "awesome again" - a reference to Sean Bonner, a tech writer who used the same phrase last year in a blog that pleaded with the chief executive to save the service.

The revamp also lets users host longer video clips and higher-resolution photos, and co-incides with a new app for Android devices.

The move puts Yahoo in competition with the likes of Dropbox, Google and Facebook’s Instagram in the cloud photo storage arena.

Google offers users a total of 15GB of free storage across its core cloud services. Facebook does not impose such a limit but downgrades the quality of high-resolution photos.

Yahoo bought Flickr in 2005, taking it over from a husband-and-wife development team who had also been approached by Google.

Yahoo is now seeking to address this with a number of features, which now include:

• a 1TB upload limit - enough to store more than half a million six-megapixel photos

• a redesigned user-interface that fills more of the page with pictures at the expense of white space

• a new Activity Feed allowing users to see their own recent uploads mixed together with those of their friends

• a new Android app offering a more photo-centric design than the previous version, bringing it closer in line to an iOS update released at the end of last year

• a larger 200MB limit on the size of each photo - previously, paid-for accounts had a 50MB limit and free accounts 30MB.

• a three-minute cap on playback of video clips rather than the earlier limit of 90 seconds.

However, the free storage comes at a price to those heavy users wanting to go over the 1TB ad-funded storage limit. Those wishing to have an advert-free interface now face a $49.99 (£33) annual charge - double what they needed to pay before.

In addition anyone wishing to double their storage limit to 2TB needs to pay $499.99 a year.
In the past $24.99-a-year Pro accounts offered "unlimited" space.

That potentially offers an advantage to competitors such as Imgur, Shutterfly and 500px that continue to offer packages without storage limits, although they do operate other restrictions.

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