Image sharing service, Flickr has been purchased by SmugMug, a similar site based on a fee-for-service model.

Whereas most Flickr users relied upon free accounts, since it began in 2002, SmugMug has focused on catering for photographers who are prepared to pay for privacy and storage. Social networks and apps like Facebook and Instagram have taken an increasing percentage of the image-sharing market. According to an FAQ post on SmugMug’s website, Flickr will continue to operate separately and SmugMug and Flickr accounts will remain separate and independent for the foreseeable future. Over time, images on Flickr will ‘migrate’ onto SmugMug’s technology infrastructure “” but the photos themselves will remain on Flickr. Flickr’s free accounts will continue, as will the Flickr Pro subscriptions.

The combined entity aims ‘to be a welcome place for all photographers: hobbyist to archivist to professional’. SmugMug CEO, Don MacAskill, is quoted as saying, ‘We don’t mine our customers’ photos for information to sell to the highest bidder, or to turn into targeted advertising campaigns.’