In a major shake-up in the photo-sharing space, Flickr has been acquired by rival service SmugMug at an undisclosed price. While Flickr has been acquired first by Yahoo and then eventually by Verizon subsidiary Oath Inc, SmugMug has retained its independent corporate identity. Founded by father-son duo Chris and Don MacAskill, the company was started without any venture capital and was initially run out of the MacAskill’s home. The acquisition comes with the promise of revamping Flickr, with SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill stating that he’s committed to breathing new life into the faded social networking pioneer, according to a report by USA Today.
Flickr was once considered the hottest thing in photo and video sharing, and was a pioneer of the social media revolution long before Facebook and Twitter established dominance over the space. One of the earliest ways to share photos and videos on the internet in the previous decade, Flickr was established in Vancouver, Canada in 2004. A year later, Yahoo acquired Flickr’s parent company Ludicorp (and Flickr as a result) in a deal thought to be valued at around $25 million.
The acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon subsidiary Oath Inc in 2016-2017 was yet another change in the ownership of Flickr, and it has now been brought back to its independent roots under the ownership of SmugMug. The value of the deal has not been disclosed. Although Flickr is much smaller in numbers than it used to be, it still boasts of over 100 million unique users and billions of photos stored on its platform. The service is now used for photo storage and its online tools rather than as a social media service.
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Meanwhile, SmugMug offers not online photo and video sharing, but also printing services for photographers, as well as a domain for selling of print and digital media by photographers. SmugMug is slightly older than Flickr, having been founded in 2002. The service has remained independent throughout its history.