According to a BBC news article dated July 22, 2010, several social networks gained popularity during the period from June 2009 to June 2010. They are: Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and Linkedin. On the other hand, MySpace, Flickr, Bebo and Friends Reunited had seen their “unique audience” dropped.
I have been posting photos to Flickr since 2006, and opted for a paid account last year. While I like the minimalist design of Flickr, I wasn’t a little bit surprised by the BBC news. After all, the function of Flickr has been largely replaced Facebook. On Flickr, a free account allows us to display just 200 pictures. A paid account removes that limit, but costs us US$24.90 every year. On the other hand, we can post as many photos as possible to Facebook at no charge. Yes, Facebook compresses the pictures we upload, thereby reducing image quality. But for the average Facebook members who only want to share their casual snapshots among their small circles of friends, the choice is a no brainer.
But Yahoo, which owns Flickr, is also to be blamed for the site’s decline. Flickr does not allow non-members to comment on the site. In a sense, it is a closed network. Apparently, non-members will be less inclined to come to Flickr, if they can’t participate.
I am not optimistic with the future of Flickr.