Flickr wordmark.svg
Flickr screenshot.png
A viewing page for a photograph hosted on Flickr
Type of site
Image/Video hosting service
Available inChinese (traditional)
FoundedVancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2004
Created byStewart Butterfield
Caterina Fake
Alexa rankPositive decrease 358 (February 2019)[2]
Launched10 February 2004; 15 years ago (2004-02-10)[3]
Current statusActive
Written inPHP / Java / JavaScript

Flickr (pronounced "flicker") is an image hosting service and video hosting service. It was created by Ludicorp in 2004. It has changed ownership several times and has been owned by SmugMug since April 2018.[4]

The Verge reported in March 2013 that Flickr had a total of 87 million registered members and more than 3.5 million new images uploaded daily.[5] In August 2011, the site reported that it was hosting more than 6 billion images.[6] Photos and videos can be accessed from Flickr without the need to register an account, but an account must be made to upload content to the site. Registering an account also allows users to create a profile page containing photos and videos that the user has uploaded and also grants the ability to add another Flickr user as a contact. For mobile users, Flickr has official mobile apps for iOS,[7] Android,[8] and an optimized mobile site.[9]


Flickr was launched on February 10, 2004 by Ludicorp, a Vancouver-based company founded by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. The service emerged from tools originally created for Ludicorp's Game Neverending, a web-based massively multiplayer online game. Flickr proved a more feasible project, and ultimately Game Neverending was shelved,[10] Butterfield later launched a similar online game, Glitch, which closed down in November 2012.[11][12]

Early versions of Flickr focused on a chat room called FlickrLive, with real-time photo exchange capabilities.[13] The successive evolutions focused more on the uploading and filing back-end for individual users and the chat room was buried in the site map. It was eventually dropped as Flickr's back-end systems evolved away from Game Neverending's codebase.[14] Key features of Flickr not initially present are tags, marking photos as favorites, group photo pools and interestingness, for which a patent is pending.[15]

In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs and an online community, in 2004 the service was widely used by photo researchers and by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.[16]

Yahoo! acquired Ludicorp and Flickr in March 2005. The acquisition reportedly cost $22 million to $25 million.[17] During the week of June 26, 2005 to July 2, 2005, all content was migrated from servers in Canada to servers in the United States, and all resulting data become subject to United States federal law.[18] In May 2007, Yahoo! announced that Yahoo! Photos would close down on September 20, 2007, after which all photos would be deleted; users were encouraged to migrate to Flickr.[19] In January 2007, Flickr announced that "Old Skool" members those who had joined before the Yahoo! acquisition would be required to associate their account with a Yahoo! identity by March 15, 2007 to continue using the service.[20] This move was criticized by some users.[21]

Flickr upgraded its services from "beta" to "gamma" status in May 2006; the changes attracted positive attention from Lifehacker.[22] In December 2006, upload limits on free accounts were increased to 100 MB a month (from 20 MB) and were removed from Flickr Pro accounts, which originally had a 2 GB per month limit.[23] On April 9, 2008, Flickr began allowing paid subscribers to upload videos, limited to 90 seconds in length and 150 MB in size. On March 2, 2009, Flickr added the facility to upload and view HD videos, and began allowing free users to upload normal-resolution video. At the same time, the set limit for free accounts was lifted.[24] In 2009, Flickr announced a partnership with Getty Images in which selected users could submit photographs for stock photography usage and receive payment. In 2010, this was changed so that users could label images as suitable for stock use themselves.[25]

Graph of Flickr public uploads, which peaked in 2013–2015 before the launch of Google Photos

On May 20, 2013, Flickr launched the first stage of a major site redesign, introducing a "Justified View" close-spaced photo layout[26] browsed via "infinite scrolling" and adding new features, including one terabyte of free storage for all users, a scrolling home page (mainly of contacts photos and comments) and updated Android app.[27][28] The Justified View is paginated between 72 and 360 photos per page but unpaginated in search result presentation. Tech Radar described the new style Flickr as representing a "sea change" in its purpose.[29] Many users criticized the changes, and the site's help forum received thousands of negative comments.[30] In March 2014, Flickr's New Photo Experience, a user interface redesign, left beta.[31]

On May 7, 2015, Yahoo! overhauled the site, adding a revamped Camera Roll, a new way to upload photos and upgraded the site's apps. The new Uploadr application was made available for Macs, Windows and mobile devices.[32]

Corporate changes

In June 2008, Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield announced his resignation, which followed that of his wife and co-founder Caterina Fake, who left the company on June 13, 2008.[33] Butterfield wrote a humorous resignation letter to Brad Garlinghouse.[34]

On December 14, 2008, The Guardian reported that three employees had been laid off as Yahoo! continued to reduce its workforce,[35] and on November 30, 2010, CNET reported Yahoo! was on the verge of a major layoff affecting 10% to 20% of its workforce. Flickr was specifically named as a target for these layoffs.[36]

On June 13, 2017, Verizon Communications acquired Yahoo!, including Flickr.[37][38] In June 2017, Verizon reorganised Yahoo!, along with AOL, into a new umbrella company, Oath (Verizon Media Group).

On April 20, 2018, SmugMug acquired Flickr from Verizon's Oath and put an end to Flickr 1TB storage plan for free users, these users had until February 5, 2019 to convert to 'Pro' accounts or their photo streams would be reduced to a maximum of 1000 pictures.[4][39] The deadline was later extended to March 12. The reasons cited were that the existing model was unsustainable by a medium-sized company which could not get revenues by selling profiles of the users. The sentiment was generally agreed on among the professionals.[40]

Other Languages
العربية: فليكر
azərbaycanca: Flickr
বাংলা: ফ্লিকার
Bân-lâm-gú: Flickr
भोजपुरी: फ्लिकर
Boarisch: Flickr
català: Flickr
čeština: Flickr
Cymraeg: Flickr
dansk: Flickr
Deutsch: Flickr
eesti: Flickr
Ελληνικά: Flickr
español: Flickr
euskara: Flickr
فارسی: فلیکر
français: Flickr
galego: Flickr
한국어: 플리커
հայերեն: Flickr
हिन्दी: फ़्लिकर
hrvatski: Flickr
Bahasa Indonesia: Flickr
italiano: Flickr
עברית: פליקר
Basa Jawa: Flickr
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಫ್ಲಿಕರ್
ქართული: Flickr
қазақша: Flickr
lietuvių: Flickr
magyar: Flickr
Malagasy: Flickr
മലയാളം: ഫ്ലിക്കർ
Bahasa Melayu: Flickr
Nederlands: Flickr
日本語: Flickr
norsk: Flickr
Plattdüütsch: Flickr
polski: Flickr
português: Flickr
română: Flickr
русский: Flickr
Scots: Flickr
Simple English: Flickr
slovenčina: Flickr
slovenščina: Flickr
کوردی: فلیکر
српски / srpski: Фликер
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Flickr
suomi: Flickr
svenska: Flickr
Türkçe: Flickr
Türkmençe: Flickr
українська: Flickr
Tiếng Việt: Flickr
吴语: Flickr
粵語: Flickr
中文: Flickr