My current Flickr account is only four years old, but I have had several accounts with them, from before they sold (out) to Yahoo in 2005. When I first starting uploading to Flickr there was a real buzz on the platform as it was just around the time that digital SLRs were becoming quite good and affordable (I had a Nikon D50, which I loved). Lots of amateur photographers were learning the ropes about their hobby and Flickr was a place where your photographs were displayed to best effect, it was run by people who loved photography, and one could get advice and encouragement from like-minded people. Then it all started to go wrong, and if you want to know more about why that happened here is a good analysis.
Not having anywhere else to go (I tried photo-blogging but it seemed a lonely enterprise) I stuck with Flickr, but lost quite a few followers when I deleted my last-but-one account in a fit of self-destructive behaviour. Now I just post the occasional photograph that I like and don’t really engage much with it otherwise. Their smart-phone app doesn’t help by often freezing or crashing, and the Web platform needs a refresh.
A year or so ago I opened an Instagram account and started posting photographs taken on my iPhone. I soon realised that one of the reasons Flickr now felt like a ghost town was that everyone had moved to Instagram, even the professionals. This still perplexes me somewhat, because if you want to look at a beautiful image in all its detail then Instagram is a terrible place to have to do it (compared to Flickr that is). But the way images are being consumed has changed so much since Flickr was launched – most people skim through Instagram on their smart phones, and are not really interested in the quality of the image in terms of resolution and sharpness. It’s all about eyeballs now, and professionals are posting where they will have the greatest impact, and who can blame them?
Taken on my iPhone.