Best alternatives to Flickr

Flickr was one of the first online communities that brought artists and photographers together to share their work for all to see, but it languished in the years since Yahoo's acquisition of the service. Since that point, we've seen a number of photo-sharing services come to light, including popular pro service SmugMug (opens in new tab) — which just purchased Flickr from Yahoo.

Whether you plan to stick with Flickr, move entirely to SmugMug, or ditch Flickr completely, you might be curious about some of the other services out there for sharing and protecting your photos. Here's a quick rundown!

500px

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Though newer than some of the other options on this list, Toronto-based 500px has quickly become one of the go-to hosting sites for amateur and pro photographers alike.

When you sign up for an account you'll be able to follow photographers to get their newest photos in your personalized feed, give feedback or your thoughts on people's work by liking and commenting on photos, and even discussing all the details of photography in groups you can join. Plus, 500px offers you a way of monetizing your work: You can submit your photos to the 500px Marketplace to sell, or work on custom shoots for various brands.

Like many of the pro-am services, 500px has a monthly subscription fee: It ranges from $2.50/month to 15.99/month depending on the features you need for your account.

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Photobucket

With over 15 billion (yes — with a "B") photos to browse from, Photobucket is by far one of the largest image hosting services on the web.

Photobucket not only lets you store your photos, but also offers some basic editing tools as well, making it easy for amateur photographers to quickly tweak their work before posting it online. Plus, Photobucket also gives you the option of privately hosting certain images or albums so you can send your work directly to clients with a simple link and password.

It's subscription plans range drastically in price (opens in new tab) depending on feature-set; you can create a free account and share or store up to 2GB of photos, so if you want to try before you buy, it's got you covered.

See at Photobucket (opens in new tab)

DeviantArt

DeviantArt focuses more on digitally-drawn art (some of it NSFW) than photography, but if you're looking for a large, active community where you can host and share your work, it's worth a look.

Amongst the many digital art subsections, there's a whole area of DeviantArt dedicated to photography; the community is pretty active, with many users commenting on other people's work. Thanks to the DeviantArt Critique tool, you can also get meaningful feedback from fellow members on your photos and any other artwork you choose to put up. Additionally, you can connect with professionals to gain further insights your projects or even set up future collaborations.

DeviantArt offers a free membership, where you can store up to 2GB of images on the network; you can pay $4.95 a month to get unlimited storage space and full access to the service's features.

See at DeviantArt

Instagram

Instagram is more for sharing highlighted work (and at a lower resolution) than than many of the other services, but it's still a great place to upload and share photos amongst your friends — and, if you're a pro photographer, it can be a great way to advertise your work.

Every photographer I know has an Instagram account, and many pros also use it as a networking tool for fellow shutterbugs in their physical area (or area of expertise). Because Instagram is primarily a mobile platform, there's no good option for uploading your images from your Mac; that said, newer cameras make it pretty easy to send images to your mobile device.

Free - Download now (opens in new tab)

Google Photos

These days, practically everyone is connected to Google in some way or another, whether through Gmail, Hangouts, or YouTube. Having a Google account can also be beneficial if you want to use the company's cloud storage to backup your photos. You can add pictures to Google Drive or back up your entire collection of pictures using the Desktop uploader or iOS app.

Google Photos provides some pretty solid organizational tools: For example, it will automatically recognize people, places, food, and events, and organize them into collections for you. Plus, you can build your own personal albums, or create shared albums that others can access via a link. You can even let the recipients add their own content to a shared album. Plus, Google Photos also includes some basic editing features, like adding filters, tweaking lighting, and color balances.

Google Drive includes 15 GB of free storage with additional plans starting at $1.99 for 100 GB.

See at Google

Where do you host your photos?

Let us know in the comments below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

4 Comments
  • You fail to mention that 500px was bought by Visual China Group in February 2018 so is no longer a small startup. You also should mention the subscriptions offered by SmugMug. The prices are very competitive compared with the offerings you highlight. I’ve been a very happy user of SmugMug for 11 years.
  • Agreed ... as with so much offered in the blogosphere in this new millennium ... there is always seems to be an agenda underneath such offerings. SmugMug buys Flickr and immediately there is an article offering options for alternatives ... yet ... there was no such article when Verizon bought Yahoo which included Flickr. Most of the time I can appreciate articles here on iMore, unfortunately there seems to be an increasing amount of unnecessary click bait. It's not the end of the world for Flickr users .. they may actually appreciate and be accepting of what may come their way.
  • Honestly only used it cause it was free and a 1tb of space. If that’s going away then I’m probably sticking with instagram for sharing and amazon prime photos as a backup.
  • This article makes no sense unless they announced some drastic change in business model. IMO, the Flickr mobile apps killed it for many. They also have no decent desktop apps, especially for a service that is basically a social network for photographers. Pretty bad video tools, as well. Google has caught up with them and passed them by. All flick r users needed was a Flickr Gallery App with Upload and Download capability, and the ability to share, comment, see comments, and like photos/video. Instead they delivered a lestering, bloated app with a use less highlight page that cached all types of junk in your device; reinvented your device camera and editing tools. A waste of development time and effort.