Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Don't advertise your shop on Flickr

Colours in the kitchen
Are you using Flickr in a way that could get your account closed? A lot of people are, especially a lot of artsy/crafty folks. You might, unwittingly, be one of them; please read on!

If you add links directly to your wares in the photo descriptions on Flickr you are in violation of the Flickr TOU (terms of use). I'm not joking, your account could be closed. Especially if all you do is upload photos of items for sale.

I know, we're signing up for stuff all over the place and do we always stop to read the small print of what we're sign up to? I know I don't. And sometimes it's in strange legalese that's difficult to understand. But Flickr very kindly have a Community Guidelines page where you can read what you can and can't do. The bit about not using Flickr for selling is at the bottom of the 'don't do' section.

If you occasionally upload photos of stuff you make and sell, I don't think anyone will mind - but hey, I'm no lawyer, so what do I know.. ;-) As long as what you upload is a natural part of the flow of your photos. But the most important thing is, don't link directly to shop listings or your shop.

Saying something like 'for more info please see my profile' seems to be ok - you can add one (I believe) commercial link to your Flickr profile. Or maybe 'more on my blog'. Something like that.

But if your Flickr account is obviously just for the purpose of selling, and not for the enjoyment of sharing photos... well.. why bother?

Seriously. Pages of pages of shop inventory is really boring. If someone follows me on Flickr and that's all that is in their photo stream, I sure as heck won't follow them back.

I don't personally know anyone who has had their account shut down, but I've heard about people who have. This is not something I'm making up. Sometimes you get a warning, sometimes you don't.

So, don't abuse your Flickr privileges! ;-)

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