Changes to the way photo sharing website Flickr operates mean starting tomorrow free accounts that have more than 1,000 images shared on their account are in danger of having images deleted. In November 2018 new owners SmugMug warned the days of all users being entitled to a terabyte of storage were numbered, and noted that as of February 5th 2019 free accounts will be cut down to size starting with the oldest posts.

The company says the cull should affect only a small percentage of its user-base, as 97% of its free account holders have fewer than 1000 images and videos stored. Those who have more should upgrade to a Pro account or scale their albums back. It also points out that the 1000-image limit is five times as generous as the original free account quota, which was only 200 pictures or videos.

Yahoo gets the blame for the situation, as in 2013 it raised the storage limit to attract new users which actually led to sign-ups just using the free storage but not interacting with the community, according to Flickr’s VP of Product Andrew Stadlen. He also says it costs a lot to host all that data, and that by offering it for free devalued the concept of paid online space.
If you are one of that 3% with more than 1000 images in a free account you need to take action now. Fortunately, Gizmodo has produced a handy guide to getting your pictures downloaded back to your local drives.

For more information on these changes see the Flickr blog post from November, and this one from mid-December.