The tl;dr is, Flickr got bought away from Yahoo before they could kill it, and decided to do a strange thing: provide a service in exchange for money. There’s now a generally useless free tier, and a “pro” tier that costs money.
You know how this ends: they “cannot continue to operate it at a loss as we’ve been doing”.
You also know where I’m going with this: there’s 2 sides.
On the one hand, Flickr was already dead, killed by Yahoo! and their absolutely staggering incompetence. Yahoo! is so fucking dumb, a fucking poster-child for why capitalism is bullshit. They managed to make nothing but the most idiotic decisions over and over and over, and are only alive because they amassed a horde of fuck-you money. Yahoo! didn’t do a fucking thing with Flickr in response to Google Photos, Facebook/Instagram, the iPhone, etc.
A reminder for you kids: Flickr was Instagram but with an emphasis on actual photography, not face-tuned imbeciles. It was a complete (albeit somewhat simple) social network. Everything was there to compete with everything else. All it needed was leadership. It had none. There was no end but death.
The other side is that users just won’t accept paying money for a thing. Users have largely been trained to accept that uploading 100% of your sensitive, personal information for abuse by corporate forces is just the price you pay for photo-sharing. Time and time again users have stated they’d prefer free over for-pay, even if it means half of Moldova has their identity information.
That’s where I truly get mad. It is likely that Yahoos mismanagement killed Flickr before SmugMug even bought it. That said, SmugMug has done as close to 100% correct as you can hope for. They have made a legit effort to make Flickr what it was and what it could be. But the damage is done. “I paid for my cell phone and my cable connection, why should literally anything else cost me money”.
I hope some drunk asshole in a tracksuit empties your bank account and spends it on vodka and strippers.