Users Take to the Flickr Feedback Forum to Voice Displeasure with the Redesign


After Yahoo! announced and implemented its major Flickr redesign, the company invited users to give their feedback on Flickr’s help forum. Of course, the company was probably hoping for constructive feedback — as in questions and polite suggestions. What it got instead was a tidal wave of negative comments bashing the new layout and, in some cases, the staff themselves.

The request for feedback started innocently enough. Flickr’s Community Manager Thea Lamkin got on and offered up the Help forum as a place where “questions, concerns, suggestions, and other non-bug related comments” could be voiced and responded to:


Two hundred and eighty-three pages later, it became clear that users were neither happy nor shy about sharing how they felt. Some users got on and voiced their concerns in a polite way, asking that they be given a toggle option that would allow them to use the old layout instead.

Others took a more direct approach, calling the changes everything from “messy” to “awful” to “freaking hideous.” Certain comments, deemed inappropriate and/or offensive by the staff, lead to the following update:


The concern here is that the overwhelmingly negative response points to more than the typical dissatisfaction a company expects when making a major change. Yahoo! no doubt expected that the new layout would take “some getting used to,” and some photographers have come out in defense of the redesign, but if the complaints don’t die down soon, Flickr may have a real problem on its hands.

Is this just the standard response to major changes that will slowly die off as users acclimate to the new layout? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. For now, let us know what you think about Flickr’s new look by logging your answer in the poll down below:

(via CNET)

Update: Here’s what Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield had to say on Twitter about the redesign:


  • David G

    It’s a step backwards. It’s slower to use and slower to load. Several useful features have been dropped. The ability to change the thumbnail size was a welcome addition to the site when it was added a couple years ago. No logical reason to get rid of that feature.

    There also used to be a menu of thumbnails next to the image that showed the next and previous images in the photostream as well as one for the group the image was in. You could choose what you wanted to see next. The next image in the group pool, or the next image in the photog’s photostream. Brilliant feature. Axed. Additionally you had an idea if the next image was going to bore or offend you. Now you have no idea what comes next in the stream when you click the arrow buttons.

    On top of that you have the absurdly memory hungry combination of justified full-res thumbnails and infinite scrolling. Makes for a sloooooow viewing experience – and you can’t just skip ahead to the end of your favorites or a stream. Totally asinine design!

  • David G

    People mostly just want to see who the clown is.

  • Julian Robinson

    !!! Yep.

  • Skire TNS

    I gave it a few days, but it was to much of a change. It felt wrong deleting my account after 7 years and having thousands of photos up, but the new look just isn’t for me.

  • jerrywaese

    It is not just about the new look
    they cut some serious professional image management support

    If they bring back the collections, and allow the old front end to work as an option it will be much better, also if they offer the pro account free of advertising they need to enable no-ads for any viewing of the pro account content.

  • jerrywaese

    nobody in their right mind should think of facebook in the same context as flickr

    measuring one against the other is shallow

    I do expect a lot of shallowness in the wake of facebook dominance in peoples’ minds

  • jerrywaese

    did you ever use the collections feature?

    did you send clients for your images to flickr

    Consider that you pay to suppress ads on your account, can you imagine sending clients to the site with advertising?

    the changes violate the cornerstones of professional usage in favor of casual usage, while there are several other services that do specialize in amateur social media.

    flickr was a significant cut above, amateur social media services.

    it is now descending rapidly

  • jerrywaese

    you could say the reviewers and reporters are paying as much attention to the matter as the chief of staff and designers at yahoo/flickr

    (are they sneaking a peak at their facebook/instagram pages instead of concentrating?)

  • jerrywaese

    here is a clear list in support for professional use:
    1. bring back collections and their prominent display.
    (note if the designers do not understand collections get new designers)
    2. allow the old paging to work with smaller thumbnails linking to larger views
    3. when offering a pro account without ads – convey that to all views of the content, or all views of the content when the landing page is the pro user page.

  • jerrywaese

    that was a bit reaching – was it not?
    (arggh no wonder we are in this mess – the leaders are lemmings)

  • Richard

    The site has had ads for non pro members for a while now. That didn’t come with this update.

    Flicker has always allowed embedding images on other sites so if I want to show a client an image I can control the context in which its seen.

    I’m not defending what they’ve done, just saying it doesn’t tip me into leaving.

    I also interact with Flickr via RSS and the Reeder apps so I don’t use their home page to scan activity.

  • jerrywaese

    getty never tells me which picture got used or where

  • flikrdefector

    Agreed, I am beginning to feel this is going to end up being more than a simple ‘upset’ at the flickr changes…. this is showing how multi million internet corporation feel they are above everything and can do what they please… I am writing a feature article on my first thoughts on this, hopefully, I’ll manage to get it published!

  • jerrywaese

    photographers understand focus

    the corporations are not looking at business, they are looking at shareholders, accountability, and other formalities that mesh outside of the business case.

  • jerrywaese

    after several years of use of certain features that help organize several thousand photos, I must disagree with you,

    I lost collections,
    a significant feature – gone completely – many pro’s used it.
    collections featured on my main page, simplifying the scores of sets into groups of images – it made sense

    my main page was easy on the eyes and had a great high level view over the whole body of work.

    perhaps that is not easy to see if you never used it seriously.

    I must say, nothing in this makes sense, even if it looks like something else, that does not mean it makes sense.

  • DAGarrison

    They are not going to answer they are a web user and not a developer I to am a web developer and I had to face several of those issue on how to deliver content to my sites visitors without blasting their eye with too much information.

    Now I hate the new lay out and I was a person who may have spent 14-20 hours a week browsing the site if I was looking for new equipment. Now the new look takes that freedom away for perspective camera customers.

    Yes I also deal with bandwidth and this new site is a hog and if any business environment has an employee looking at the site it will be a spike in usage and that drives I.T. departments up a wall!

  • Mission

    With the new Flickr layout, you can drag any photo from a photo stream onto your desktop. I know that nothing on the internet is safe, but this is allowing all photos on flickr to be used and re-distributed. What a shambles!

  • mrbeard

    i’ve been using the new flickr, and though the changes are mainly good, the social aspect to flickr that made it so good has been forced to the background. The old front page had all the information needed in one place, replies to comments, contacts uploads e.t.c. Flickr needed an update desperately but instead of going for a customizable front page (that expanded what was there) where you could show your favourite groups, comments and contacts, which would have pushed the social aspect of it and would have made it stand out from its rivals, we get a clone of other photo sites.
    i know myself and a lot of other users like flickr because its more than a place to dump photos online, and flickr are very close to ruining that.

  • SoccerDad

    I have been a fairly light user of Flickr. I have used it mostly for “fun” and put pictures of the kids. I never liked that to keep a picture private someone needed to be added as family to allow them to see the picture. It would have been nice to have password protection for sets. Now I mostly use it for the picture I take of the kids sporting events and share the images with others on the team. I was considering going Pro when the change happened. 1Tb is lots of space. For what I use Flickr for I’m not too upset. The price for the new version of “pro” is way out there.

    I was considering moving to another site like dphoto, but they just changed their whole structure as well. What used to be unlimited uploads/storage with some other features, including password protection for $60. a year is now limited to 50GB.

    The only constant is change.

    I’m sure I’ll get use to the new style. It has only been a little time since the change, so my jury is still out.

  • Santanu Karar – Web Spiders

    Flickr simply became Shitr. Thanks to the Yahoo!, for making our experience Hell!! And all the *trolls* – keep use their newly/fantastic/awesome Shitr.

  • jnektar

    “the judgement of history will be…” haha. Talk about gone to his head. It’s a photo site!!! And one lacking functionality and at the moment.

  • Eric Parker

    I think no one gets what’s going on here
    The interface design is simply a distraction from the new Flickr plan

    Flickr is changing it’s business model from
    user driven to advertiser driven

    Everything else is just fluff

    They do NOT WANT you to renew your Pro subscription
    Isn’t that totally obvious?

    It’s not about the new interface – it’s about giving us ads
    the only people they will listen to in the future are the advertisers – just like most other businesses that advertise (TV, Mags, Newspapers, etc)

    Flickr has not only sold us out but the whole concept of the user-driven internet – sad

  • Eric Parker

    Traffic on my Flickr stream is down about 25% since the update
    (from 2000 views/day to 1500)

  • Stan McMann

    Results are inflated by “I LOVE IT” ditto heads

  • Rob Nuuja

    I seriously don’t understand the hate. The old design so cheesy, dated looking and lame I was always embarrassed to point people to it.
    Now if they would only create an integrated stream view of all of my groups and allow me to share/queue to my tumblr from the organizer…

  • Thomas Hawk

    collections are not “gone completely” they are still there. Just click on the … icon. It’s the universal internet symbol for more.

    Here’s mine:

    You can get there by simply typing the word /collections after your url as well.

  • jerrywaese

    great, but they are extremely de-emphasized, rather than offered up front on the landing page, where they would be useful in

    1. helping people find something in one or 2 clicks, and

    2. de-cluttering the landing page

    you have to hunt for them, and then what you get is in that horiz ribbon flow layout on black that has become the norm.

    maybe it has some merit as a mobile first kind of layout???

    on black uses less battery power

  • Todd Evans

    You have no idea how many people “do not like it.”

  • ClintJCL

    I have way more than “no” idea, as I have seen evidence in threads with 1000s of comments, I see almost every contact posting images about how they hate it, and my anti-new-flickr images have tons of favorites too.

    No idea would mean I know nothing. I know far more than nothing.

  • mrbeard

    i just read in another location that by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse about on the front page, this disables the right click protection, i tried it and it does indeed do this. I think its a bug and its been mentioned on flickr but still, all non lightbox view images can currently be downloaded by anyone,

  • Wietop

    I’m not opposed to change. What I have a problem with is when a company makes a major change in the middle of the night, with no warning. I happen to love the “look” of the new Flickr, but I don’t like having the sets listed as a small word at the top. I also can’t understand why, in all these years, Flickr hasn’t come up with a way to allow users to sort their photos the way they want. I have gone to Phanfare, but will be keeping an eye on future changes in response to the outrage.

  • GH Berkeley

    If I wanted Google photo sharing I would use Google, but I wanted a Flickr style website. Now Flickr is just the same Google. Becoming the same as your competition when you previously had an advantage with serious photographers is not an improvement. I will probably apply to get the pro-rated return on my Pro account payment unless returning to the “classic” style is restored as an option.

  • Daisy.Sue

    What makes you think Flickr was a dead platform with so many people as members using it? You are STUPID and don’t know how a good change is made!
    Very much agree with you and your post Zoidbort!!!!!

  • someguy

    Overall, I think the redesign is borderline dumb. Yay for the new photostream (no, really), meh to the new homepage, everything else so far is exactly the same or has no whatsoever layout to speak of (photopage). But I don’t mind. And I will also just assume there’s more in the pipeline.

    The new pricing policy however… let’s assume braincells *were* used while thinking this up, I don’t see any way how anything good can come out of this for the users, when a market-listed company all of sudden makes it insanely unattractive to throw money at them.

    Why the above makes people react as if flickr has started clubbing baby seals? With kittens as clubs? I have no idea…

  • Angry Flickr User

    So, how long have you been a PR shill for Yahoo, then, Kiko?

  • Rob Elliott

    Yes you do. But the company has the right to change it’s interface, method of use and business model, and you have the right to cancel your service. Being a customer doesn’t make you a owner of the company or but a user of the service. It’s why the Modifications Clause of a TOS exists.

    You have every right to be upset if that service changes but they have the right to change it at any time, and you can either suggest ways to make it workable for you, or you can cancel.

    Just like your favourite Clothier discontinuing a style of pants you like, or your cable company choosing not to carry a TV Channel.

    My reference to Yelling at clouds however was to Grampa Simpson yelling at a cloud that he didn’t like.

  • Rog

    The new Flickr was made for teens, amateurs or Facebook lovers… Who really care about photography already is looking for another place…

  • Zack

    That is a lot of why 500px never clicked with me. That, and I had a hard time finding photos that were interesting to me. It just felt like I was browsing Flickr’s Explore page.

  • krezkey

    I love the old design and I AM a paying pro account member, I would have never joined or went to a pro member if I did not love the “old” format. This new redesign is a major resource hog for the system and line connection. It’s way to over done, all they needed to do were some minor changes like background color and a little larger search display photos.We did not need endless scrolling down pages or a shadowbox like display to view the photos. What little info and control is now provided, takes more hunting and clicking, to do the same thing we did in the old format and the new format looks like Cr@p to boot. I hope the powers that be will listen to the members that dislike this new change and go back to the old look,feel and control. At least give us a choice to go back to the old format with a user option button. But like all other big “know it all” companies they will blow off the people that support them and do what ever they want. It is a shame all they care about is making more money, than listening to its users ..Like Microsoft with windblows 8 and the Metro desktop…Make one user interface for everything desktop,phone and tablet and call it perfect, so what it it does not work correctly or users don’t like it….they saved money by not making 2 or 3 GUI. Who cares about the customers/users. wants and needs.

  • krezkey

    You sir are blowing smoke out of your butt. I want to know how something can be dead when it has MILLIONS of users, god knows how many are pro members? I have been a member since 07 and went pro user in 08 or 09, why would I do that if I hated the old platform or it was a dead one. I want what I loved and paid for back fully or with an opt out to the old platform option.

  • blackpaw

    100% community killer. That’s ok. We’re all moving to ipernity :)

    Flickr was well overdue for an upgrade, but this isn’t an upgrade, it’s a whole new business model. And it wasn’t even technically ready to be rolled out.

    Some ppl don’t understand the implications of what has just happened to flickr, but they’re mostly (not all) ppl who were less involved with the flickr community. Some ppl are harping on about the “don’t like change” crowd. It actually shows a lack of maturity to assume that all change is good change, but these ppl are entitled to their opinion even though they are wrong ;)

    It’s a pity what has been done to flickr, but I’m less upset now than I was. A fresh start on ipernity has been exciting, and already I see many of my contacts showing up in my new home. I’d like to thank flickr for the years of good service, and the awesome community. All good things apparently must come to an end, though, in an increasing thirst for the more important things in life – profit, and apparently change for the sake of change!!

  • blackpaw


    yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!


    and then some!

  • ClintJCL

    How ’bout when they discontinued a bunch of their RSS feeds awhile back? That was apparently a sign…

  • Julian Robinson

    Yes that is what I wrote above and many others in different forums, it has not been missed. It does seem to be true but as always – never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. It’s possible they didn’t intend this and were aiming to keep both kinds of user. I hope so because Flickr is dear to me.

  • Richard

    I wasn’t aware of that Clint. The ones I track still work fine. Which ones got killed?

    I track various groups, both images and discussion, activity on my images and activity on images I’ve commented on. All of those feeds are working fine.

  • IntrepidPhotography

    For me, it’s less about the style/looks (it’s cool and slick looking, I will admit) and more about function. The new design has several problems with it, and IMO it should’ve gone through a more thorough beta testing stage before being released. As it stands right now, flickr is having to scramble and go through a lot of bugs and fixes to resolve them.

  • ClintJCL

    I used to maintain a list of activity feeds for all my friends – they had your userid embedded in the feed. So I could know, for example, anytime someone commented on any one of my wife’s pictures — even if it was a picture I’d never commented on.

    They took those away… And went to one feed URL that doesn’t have your username in it, so it became impossible to have awareness of comments on others’ photostreams. :/

  • Richard

    Clint: you’re probably right. I do see activity on my photostream but not my own activity on others’. I wonder why they did that?

  • Clint

    The quality of photos on 500PX is light-years ahead of Flickr. The Flickr ‘Explore’ is just utter garbage (for the most part) whereby the 500PX ‘Popular’ section has a lot of world class images.

    I’m a member of both…I go to Flickr for exposure…and I go to 500PX to browse awesome photography.

  • Zack

    Different folks, different strokes. The Popular section on 500px is a little too processed & conventional for my tastes. With that said, I avoid the Explore page on Flickr too, for the same reason. Sunsets, landscapes, and flower macros are not my thing.