Flickr today is expanding its Wall Art print service to include access to images from Flickr’s licensed artists and Creative Commons. The expansion comes only a month after the launch of Flickr Wall Art, which initially allowed users to turn any of their personal photos into canvas prints. Flickr also previously launched a photo book service, again for personal photos.
But this is the first time professional photographers have ever been able to profit directly from their work on Flickr.
The changes come at a time when Flickr has been ramping up its competition with challengers like 500px, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed photo community and marketplace which had been describing itself as the Flickr for pro photographers. The idea was that Flickr, having been abandoned at Yahoo for too long, had made it possible for other startups to come in and profit where Flickr had stagnated.
In recent months, Flickr has been making moves to better compete, however. In addition to its photo books and personal Wall Art, it also announced an updated licensing program that allowed pro photographers to get their work featured on news sites, including Yahoo properties.
And now it’s broadly expanding its Marketplace, offering consumers the ability to buy Wall Art in sizes ranging from 8″x10″ up to 20″x30″. The company is still offering two styles, Premium Photo Mounts printed with professional grade paper and mounted with 1″ wood-textured edges; and Gallery Canvas Wrap, stretched across a traditional 1.25″ wood frame.
These prints are also now available to ship internationally, where as before, they were only available in the U.S.
Premium Photo Mounts are now starting at $49, while Gallery Canvas Wraps are starting at $29. The work of Flickr’s licensed artists will start at $59 and $35 respectively, a 20% premium.
These artists will be able to retain 51% of net sales, says Flickr.
Users looking to buy professional prints will be able to choose from 50 million Creative Commons licensed photos, or a hand-picked selection of premium prints from Flickr pro photographers. (A GIFT14 coupon code is offering a 40% discount up until Dec. 23rd).
According to Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Director, Product Management at Flickr, those whose works are for sale through the new service are being invited in by Flickr. It’s not broadly available to just anyone looking to sell.
He says the company is searching for images that match “what the market is looking for,” and is launching today with eight main categories of prints for things like landscapes, animals, abstract, and more. There are no subcategories or ways to narrow down selections at this time, but that could be something Flickr has in the works.
The company has been developing image recognition technology that could play a role here, as well as in surfacing photos across its site. Today you’ll see the image recognition technology improving the search experience in the Creative Commons category. And as Flickr integrates those search capabilities into the Flickr Marketplace, the search enhancements will improve categorization and discoverability moving forward, a company rep tells us.
Some Flickr users have been uncomfortable with the way auto-tagging has been implemented, saying that it had been turned out without users’ knowledge or consent, and was not offering an opt-out. Of course, users’ photos set to private would not be surfaced in searches just because they were automatically tagged.
Flickr’s new Wall Art is available here.