– A Flickr replacement for Second Life?

For some years now the once-ubiquitous image hosting service Flickr seems to have been gradually trying to squeeze Second Life content out.

With changes to policies relating to free accounts ability to have private photos and no longer able to include links to Second Life Marketplace or Store locations, it being seen as Commercial Use.

While not being able to have many images marked as Private is an inconvenience, not being able to include store links without a Pro left many SL Flickr “bloggers” (Flickr is an image hosting service not a blogging platform) stranded.

Timeline of changes:

  • 1st November 2018 – 1,000 image limit announcement Source
  • February 5, 2019, photos and videos over the free account 1,000 item limit will be at risk of deletion
  • 17th March 2022 – only allowed 50 private photos Source
  • 1st May 2022 – Free accounts not allowed Moderate or Restricted images.Source

That last point is a big issue because a lot of SL content is of an adult nature so many images of the virtual world don’t meet the requirements of Flickr’s “Safe” rating. It resulted in a bit of an exodus of SL residents from the platform.

The intention was apparently to make Flickr an archive of safe content “forever” and aimed at photographers rather than images from platforms like Second Life. Of late Flickr seems to have been enforcing the rules rather indiscriminately, resulting in at least one large inworld store setting their entire image catalogue to Moderate to prevent any issues. This of course inconviences their customers, who now need a Flickr account to view the images.

On 17th of May I heard about a proposed alternative to Flickr especially for Second Life residents. The name for this new site:

It’s creator, Luke Rowley (also the founder of easyblogger), says that the platform will offer:

  • Original quality picture, up to 8k.
  • No issues with Marketplace or in-world links. – Adult content allowed.
  • Maturity ratings, General, Moderate, and Adult for posts as Second Life, allowing you to specify what type of content you want to see in your feed.
  • An AI tag to specify if a picture is modified or generated by an AI. – The social media will be dedicated to Second Life, thus content not related to Second Life will be heavily restricted, but not totally.

Also unique to the platform is that it will be linked to your avatar:

“Your account on Primfeed will be linked to a Second Life avatar, and you will have only one account per avatar, to prevent imposter, and fake accounts.”

In the list of features above, Luke says there will be a tag for AI generated content, however in a later X Post (Tweet) he suggested AI generated/enhanced product ADs will be banned.

Those could be seen as two separate issues, but I see them as one, they’re aspects of the same issue. If it’s going to be a Second Life focused platform that’s what it should be, no AI content. AI generated content has its place, such as a fun header of this post or specific audiences and markets, but on a Second Life specific image gallery isn’t it.

I believe in this time of an obsession with AI everywhere, the initial stance on AI content on the platform will have a dramatic effect on its overall success. Saying “No” from the outset may provoke some negative feedback to start with, but I believe in the long run it will lead to a more SL-Relevant content collection.

The site is currently still under development and looks very promising so far and comments on social media certainly seem to reflect that opinion. Many people, including myself, are very excited about this project and waiting eagerly for its launch at the end of June.

There is a preview video of what the site may look like at this link on X (which totally refused to Embed here.)

If you’re interested and want to make a suggestion or offer ideas, you can use this form.

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