I uploaded some new images to Flickr today and I saw this:
Apparently Flickr now only displays your most recent 200 images. The rest of them gets tossed into some sort of limbo, until you pay up. Did they always have this limit? I can’t remember reading anything about it when I was signing up for the service, long, long time ago. I had my Flickr account almost from the beggining – long before the Yahoo purchase, and the only limit I was aware of was the bandwidth cap. Perhaps I just missed it, or maybe they only recently added this rule.
Either way, it is pretty nasty, subversive way of “persuading” users to pay. I really don’t appreciate Flickr holding my images hostage like that. They lead you to believe that you can upload as much as you want as long as you are doing it within your monthly bandwidth allowance. The 200 image cap is sort of an afterthought. Just look at the Free Account Limits page.
The first paragraph, titled “How many photos can I upload for free?” talks only about the monthly upload cap. There is no mention of any other limits. Where do they tell you about the 200 image display limit? 6 paragraphs below!
I don’t know about you but to me this looks like a classic vendor lock-in strategy. Lead the users to believe they have unlimited uploads. Then introduce some kind of limitation that locks their content with your service, and the only easy and viable way for them to recover it is to pay you for a premium service. Pretty despicable if you ask me.
I would rather have an upfront limit beyond which I will be denied service. You want to upload more? Pay for premium account, or delete more stuff. This is pretty much standard behavior in most services of this kind. I would not mind paying them if they handled their business this way. But tricking me into uploading more than I’m really allowed to is just plain wrong.
And yes I do realize that this is a free service, and they could nuke my whole account at any time. But there is a difference between loosing your photos for some random reason like TOS violation, and getting your photos mysteriously hidden until you pay up.
I used to love Flickr because of the great interface, the features, and the community but this pisses me off a little bit. After seeing something like that I don’t really want to give them my money anymore.
Who around here has a Flickr account? Were you aware of this limit? Are you a premium user? Should I just STFU, shove my principles deeply up my ass and pay the $25 and get the unlimited account? Are there any comparable alternatives?
[tags]flickr, flickr limits, 200 image limit, flickr 200 image limit, photo sharing, photo upload, image hosting, vendor lock in[/tags]