Flickr, the OG photo hosting service that many photographers around the world fell in love with has been losing money for years. The service which Yahooo sold to Smugmug a couple of years ago has never gone on to make a profit.
Now the CEO of Smugmug has decided to ask the fans of Flickr to support the company by signing up for their pain Pro plan.
“WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO OPERATE IT AT A LOSS AS WE’VE BEEN DOING.”
The CEO Don MacAskill is adamant that the only reason they have been willing to keep Flickr going is their love for photography and the community that comes with it. However, going forward, this may not be sustainable as the company cannot keep going on losing money for years.
This kind of business model is not uncommon in the tech world. The race to acquire as many users as you can to a service that can cost tens of millions of dollars to run carries a big risk. The hard part of monetizing all those users might never materialize.
The Flickr Pro plan that normally costs around $50 is available for $36 for the holiday season. Smugmug is hoping that the nostalgia and love photographers around the world have for Flickr will carry them through to profitability and add to the 100 million user accounts and tens of billions of photos.