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Flickr Becoming Less Social?


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#1 SEOigloo

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 01:59 PM

Hey All,
I had thought about blogging about this, but decided I'd like to request opinions from members here first to see if what I've noticed is something you've noticed, too.

It seems to me like more and more Flickr users are copyrighting their photos and essentially removing them from the creative commons aspect of the site. I always thought this was Flickr's strongest appeal: I could use creative photography from their creative commons index and credit the photographer with a link in my post, page or what have you. I used to find it very easy to find great photos and use them. Now, more and more, the creative commons advanced search is returning fewer photos (sometimes no more than a couple) for things for which I'm searching, and the bulk of the photos are fully copyrighted and many of them are even under the care of the Getty.

Maybe I've misunderstood what social photographers on Flickr want. I had believed that they hoped their imagery would be shared and used, with attribution, around the web. Are they all waiting for paid magazine deals now?

There is the possibility of attempting to contact the owners of protected photos, but this certainly slows down the spontaneous aspect of what has been widely promoted as the web's best social photo sharing site.

What have you noticed?

Edited by SEOigloo, 04 October 2011 - 02:00 PM.


#2 jonbey

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 02:07 PM

I have always considered Flickr to be a photo sharing site, as in, a photo gallery site (look but don't touch) unless the user decides to share.

I have seen a friends photo get stolen from Flickr by an online magazine. I also had a client that took photos from Flickr and were surprised when I explained to them why it was wrong.

I think a lot of photographers are simply sick of people stealing their work. Sad thing is many hobby photographers are not even aware that there work is being used without permission.

I always thought that it was a minority of users that wanted their work used. In Flickr terms social sharing is letting others look at your photos, not take them and make money from them.

Maybe most are on FB now. I am, I have not used Flickr in ages.

#3 SEOigloo

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 03:43 PM

Hi Jon,
Thanks for chipping in. I've always been very careful about attributing those photos which are in the creative commons index of Flickr, but I just don't get this:

In Flickr terms social sharing is letting others look at your photos, not take them and make money from them.

Does it not seem odd that people would not want their work used and thus gain backlinks, recognition and further views of their work? Why cut yourself off like that?

#4 iamlost

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:46 PM

Does it not seem odd that people would not want their work used and thus gain backlinks, recognition and further views of their work? Why cut yourself off like that?

Except for webdevs and SEOes backlinks are likely never a consideration. As jonbey mentions I believe most people simply put up images for themselves and for their friends, this largely goes for many in our industry as well from what I've seen; the idea of further views and recognition via republication seems a rare thought - at least the lack of optimisation would so imply.

I quite happily use Flickr for various marketing purposes and each image uploaded is optimised accordingly; however, I also am quite explicit in my copyright and enforcement as I have no interest in others using those images.

I suspect that many people originally used Flickr without considering the consequences of privacy, sharing, copyright, etc. just as we see happen with each new social framework. Over time that changes and people begin to restrict their usage.

As to Getty, I suspect that they are counting on oblivious webdevs using their copyrighted images as a revenue source. Their lawyers are very aggressive.

#5 jonbey

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:38 PM

Yep, that's what I meant.

It's like, people write blogs on blogger. Maybe some bloggers allow others to use their content under a creative commons licence, or just say "take it". Most expect people to read the blog, comment on the blog and move on.

Also, professional photographers use Flickr to showcase their work and get new business. If people steal their work they could lose out on business.

The only people I know that use Flickr use it for personal reasons. That includes family photos. None of them would like to see photos of their children, parents or anything else they took for that matter appearing on random sites. They do not want publicity, do not want to win photographer of the year award or any other recognition for their photos. They are just sharing them for fun.

#6 SEOigloo

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

Hi Jon & Iamlost,

You both say:

Except for webdevs and SEOes backlinks are likely never a consideration. As jonbey mentions I believe most people simply put up images for themselves and for their friends

The only people I know that use Flickr use it for personal reasons.


Thanks for reinforcing that this is the main appeal of Flickr to most people. Seems to me that budding photographers who are not yet up to being paid for the work would be taking advantage of this like crazy just to get published and known. I guess I'm thinking too much like an SEO and not enough like a normal person :) <_<



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