SmugMug Buys Flickr Vowing to Revitalize Photo Service

Flickr was purchased by SmugMug the photo-sharing and storage Silicon Valley company.

CEO at SmugMug Don MacAskill says he is committed to putting new life into the social networking pioneer. Flickr was hosting photos and interactions between users and viewers long before that was trendy.

SmugMug, which is a family-operated, independent company, will keep Flickr as a separate community of professional and amateur photographers and inject into the service, which has been long neglected, the resources and focus it needs and deserves, said MacAskill.

Terms of this deal were not disclosed by the CEO, but the deal was closed this week.

MacAskill did say that Flickr was a great community that has some of the most passionate photographers in the world. He added that it was a fantastic product that for years has supplied billions of images to millions of people across the globe.

The deal, which surprised many, ends months of uncertainty at Flickr, whose future was uncertain dating back the last year after Yahoo was acquired by Verizon and joined AOL in the Oath subsidiary.

Oath is weeding out some assets following its merging of Yahoo and AOL. Earlier in April, Oath sold its e-commerce company Polyvore that was acquired under the reins of Marissa Mayer the former CEO at Yahoo.

Flickr, whose photos are mostly free, was founded in 2004. It has played a key role in the social and cultural life of the Internet. People forged friendships on Flickr through sharing photos and having others comment on the images.

Due to the rise of social media sites like Facebook as well as Instagram, Flickr became overshadowed and suffered many defections to its rivals but held onto it core of followers despite misses with its policies and some products and the hacks that Yahoo suffered.

Traffic has contracted from its peak but Flickr claims to have over 75 million photographers who have registered in hits site and over 100 million unique users that post billions of different photos.

SmugMug, founded in 2002, has never accepted any money from outside investors nor entertained any offers of a buyout. Although small scale, SmugMug has attracted millions of customers with its devotion to photography and personal touch that often is lacking in service online that are run by huge companies.

SmugMug has been able to cater to those looking for privacy and willing to pay for it through four types of subscriptions to appeal to both novice photographers and professionals.

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