Ferdy Christant has a long and thoughtful piece on Medium recounting the history of Flickr, defending its current owner – SmugMug – and comparing other places where photographers can share their work. He concludes — and I agree — that Flickr is a very valuable community:
a Flickr-sized shutdown would be a catastrophic loss. Even if it doesn’t affect you directly and personally.
When you never read a book in your life, you should not opt for the destruction of all libraries. Personal value and community value (or even humanity value) should not be confused.
Christant also puts Instagram in perspective:
Instagram is not a photography community, it’s a social network where photographers also happen to post. This means you’re in the same space as people posting photos of their meals. Which doesn’t have to be an issue, but it’s a difference compared to a dedicated photography community. The reason that Instagram has such mind blowing stats is not because every photographer in the world has moved there and is constantly posting quality content. A 100M+ images are posted every day because millions of people are sharing their smartphone camera roll, documenting everything happening to them, which usually is nothing. It’s a sea of social snap sharing where photographers may also participate.