Recent Changes In Flickr and What It Means For Second Life Bloggers

Since the announcement was made on November 1st that there would be changes to Flickr’s Pro and Free account offerings ( Let’s be candid.), feelings of disbelief, anger, and concern have been expressed in the Second Life community. There is no secret that Flickr has been integral to promoting SL fashion & photography. I have even written a couple of blog posts in the past about the influence of Flickr on Second Life blogging, and my own struggle to get the coveted 99+ faves . After reading all of the chatter for the past several days, I decided to make my own comments on the situation.

Second Life Bloggers and changes to Flickr

Dress: {ViSion} //Lorene Shirt W/Corset – Maitreya
Hair: Tableau Vivant \\ Ari braid Add on – Browns
Hairbase + Sideburns: S.E PURE GOLD BROWN
Makeup: alaskametro<3 “New Wave” makeup – Catwa applier HUD
Jewelry: Chop ZueyEnfleurage Set
Pose: **Manifeste** – Model_698
Backdrop: FOXCITY. Photo Booth – Ballroom (Pastel Multi Chandelier)

Depending on whether you are a pro or free user, you will have different concerns.

What Everyone Wants to Know

One thing that concerned everyone was whether Flickr viewed virtual photography, and specially Second Life photography, as spam. This was prompted by Flickr’s blog post on spam, specifically the line “Flickr is not a place for people who have nothing to do with photography to sell things or otherwise influence our members.” Strawberry Singh tweeted the CEO of Flickr on this concern, and he said “Virtual photographers are photographers. You love photography. We love photography. You pay us. You rock and we love you.” She also gave tips for virtual world and digital artists that is a recommended read.

However, bloggers should take note that we will need to label all of our uploads from now on as screenshots and NOT photos. Cassandramiddles also reached out to Flickr and was told that SecondLife and digital creations must be marked as screenshots, as they are not technically photos. SL Flickr groups will need to check that screenshots will be accepted. I have noticed that some of my photos will no longer be allowed in certain SL groups.

Grandfathered Pro Accounts

What about if you have a grandfathered pro Flickr account? According to Flickr, it was announced in August that grandfathered accounts would now have to pay the current rate for Flickr pro. This topic is coming up again because more accounts are approaching renewal. Some people do not wish to pay the increased price, and combined with the 1,000 photos limit that free accounts will now have, it has been a bit of shock.

Free Account Users

For free accounts, of course the biggest concern is that they have more than 1,000 photos. Flickr said,  “After January 8, 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr. After February 5, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted — starting from oldest to newest date uploaded — to meet the new limit. ”  How have people reacted to this news?

Some people have already started purging older photos and blog posts; Moka from Moka’s Way said on Facebook, Deleted all Flickr photos from 2008 to 2017 (over 3k pics) and my blog posts from 2010 to 2017 (over 2k posts)!That hurt me to read, for she is such a phenomenal fashion blogger and has been for many years. On the Flickr forums, people have requested to to bring back gifting of Flickr pro subscriptions. This feature would be great so we can reward our most talented bloggers with pro subscriptions. Others are downloading their photos en masse so they will still have them available – just go to your account page and request your Flickr data.

Microbloggers

For all of the microbloggers (i.e people who use Flickr only as their blog), pay attention to what happened to Senzati0n Domenitzo, the owner of Essenz (shoes). I won’t post the Facebook link because it has her real name. But I will share the gyazo of what she received from Flickr support. Keep in mind that she stated that she only included SLURLs to inworld locations.

Microbloggers share marketplace links as well as slurls because they have no other place to put it. If you do not have a pro account, you are putting your account in danger for deletion.

Will the SL Community Relocate?

Strawberry Singh recently did a survey on this, and she was happy to report that the majority of SL residents plan to stay on Flickr.

There are people who are looking into web hosting space because from their research, it would be cheaper to self-host than to pay for Flickr’s pro subscription.

Realitysl.com wrote an article on why serious Second Life brands need to move from Flickr to Instagram asap.  A number of bloggers and content have begun sharing their Instagram accounts on Flickr and Facebook. The easiest way is to go to https://www.instagram.com/nametag/ and download your nametag. For instance, mine is https://www.instagram.com/monicaquerrien.monisworldsl/ :

 

What Will This Mean For Blogger Requirements?

It’s hard to say anything definite at the moment.  We did not see a change in requirements when free accounts were limited to post in 30 groups, and paid accounts were limited to 60 groups. This was probably due to the fact that groups were given the option to opt out of the group limit. Content creators who are on free accounts have their own issues to deal with at the moment if they will get in trouble for posting even a SLURL. And there are those who will say perhaps there will be less bloggers ( which may lead to more blogging opportunities) if it were not so easy to become a blogger in SL.

The Lesson

Bloggers should try to grow their following across a number of platforms, regardless of what content creators require. That way if one platform grows less popular (like blog feeds) or closes ( like Google Plus),  you will still have followers. Also, perhaps now is the time to start back building a following to actual blogs, since social media can be fickle.

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