With the recent publicity over Flickr’s propensity to delete accounts without warning or recourse, a few people have asked about alternatives to Flickr. Let’s look at a few:
- SmugMug offers a great set of tools for photo hosting and sharing with a slick user interface. They offer three levels of (paid) membership with prices ranging from around $40 to $150 per year. In paying for an account, users get access to a great user interface, powerful sharing tools, and some community features such as comments and groups. SmugMug also offers integration with Twitter, Facebook, and other social services. Differences between the levels of account include the ability to customize the site’s themes, whether standard or HD video is supported, and whether one can sell photos for a profit. If you try out SmugMug, use discount code HHPDHeSICbyzs to save $5.
- Zooomr is similar to Flickr but with more social features including the Zooomr zipline which can best be described as being similar to the Facebook friend wall, except photo-centric. Instead of Flickr’s Explore, Zooomr has Discover. From what I can tell Zooomr is a few-man operation, with some nice features but they’ve had some downtime issues in the past that would make me hesitate to becoming depending on the service.
- Google’s Picasa Web Albums service offers free photo hosting which uses a Google account for the community and sharing features. The companion Picasa application (available for Windows and OS X) makes it easy to sort and manage photos as well as publish them to the web service. Their web interface is similar to Flickr in visual appeal.
- PBase offers photo hosting galleries along with the ability to sell photos. Pricing is based on the amount of storage needed with accounts at $23/year and $60/year. In a quick check, I wasn’t able to see that there are any major photo sharing features or integration with other social networks.
A couple folks have asked me personally what I’m going to do. Since I already have a SmugMug account that I’m using for client proofing and my print sales, I’ll probably expand my use of SmugMug and start integrating it with my other online sites. I know in the comments to yesterday’s post several folks indicated they might explore non-Flickr options given the uncertain future of Flickr’s terms of service and account management; the list above should provide a good start for considering alternatives.
What might you do if Flickr continues its trend of account deletion?