February 14, 2010

Shop links on Flickr - please read this

Hey guys & gals, this is kind of a boring post, but it is important! So please don't skip it!

I was having a look at photos in the Flickr Groop Pool and I just want to give y'all a heads-up regarding posting links to Etsy/Artfire/whatever shop you have.

Don't Do It.


I am not saying this to be a party pooper or because we don't want you to share the shop love, but because it is not allowed, per the Flickr Community Guidelines.
Don’t use Flickr for commercial purposes.
Flickr is for personal use only. If we find you selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account.

So please, please don't link directly to shop listings from individual Flickr photos! We don't want anyone to get into trouble and/or shut down on Flickr because of this. If you blog about your stitched goodies for sale on your blog, it is probably fine to link to such a post. But please don't say "hey this is for sale, have a look at my blog" - because that is pretty much the same thing as posting a link to Etsy, ok?

It is fine to have a link to your shop in your profile, but even there don't fill it with 'advertising'. Just put a single link in your profile and then if you insist on giving 'commercial info' in your photo descriptions, simply write something like 'for more info see my profile'.

Clarification: Will you get shut down for having the occasional link? No, probably not. However, I have seen people being told either to tone it way down or simply being told that they risk getting shut down - in one case the Flickr user didn't really have many links to her shop.

The point of this post is: don't do something that could be interpreted as violating the use of Flickr. And it doesn't just apply to this group, it is across the board. Better to be safe than sorry.

 * * * * * *
Now, apart from it not being allowed, I want to add this, and this is just my opinion, of course.

People will take a look at your profile and/or contact you if they see something they like it and want, even if there is no mention of it being for sale (although if you have loads of images of the same thing/s you can usually conclude that that is the case!) It really isn't necessary to plaster 'advertising' all over your photos. In some cases it just makes your images look a bit cheap and you look kinda desperate. Flickr is a photo/image sharing site, not a store front.

Before I became a part of the Feeling Stitchy team, I would be totally honoured if Flor, or someone else, posted one of my stitchy photos on the blog - I don't know if others feel this way too, but I will say this: even if I like your work, I am not very likely to blog about it here on Feeling Stitchy if I get the feeling that you are just 'sharing' your stitchy photos because you want to sell what you make.

I love embroidery and I love sharing the love and showcasing the awesome stitchers in the group, and I don't mind linking to people's shops but that is very much secondary, if not tertiary or even fourthiary!

Ok, gettin' off my soap box! Happy stitchin'! :-)


  1. I think there is a fine line on this policy. I use flickr for personal pictures and crafts that I've done. I do not use flickr to sell things. The description of the photo occasionally links to somewhere that an item can be purchased, but the purpose of uploading the photo is not to make a sale/promote my shop/make money.

    I think one of the wording of the policy bans descriptions from saying something like, "This random stitched item is $5, send me flickr mail to purchase." That is a direct sale, and not the same as linking to a shop.

    One of the problems with this policy (as interpreted by you) is that 90% of flickr users would be banned from using the site because they link to their website.

    Also, I talked about this with a flickr contact about 6 months ago and I'm going to repost - I just checked the terms of service just to make sure, and it should be okay. One of the staff members said, "We usually look at the primary use: if you're a normal user of Flickr and happen to have links from your photos to a place where people can order prints, that's fine. If you're *just* here to sell prints, that's probably not." (http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/16649/#reply93810). The answer was directed to a photographer linking to prints, but I assume it goes along the same guidelines in the crafty world.

    So yes, that is my view on it. I've never added anything to your filckr group and no longer plan to, so it is a non-issue for me.

  2. Oh I never do that, but I just did that on my last couple of pictures. I had no idea about the policies, but thank you for letting us know! I don't want to sabotage the group in any way! :)

  3. I totally agree. I feel like when there is a shop link, it's self-serving, but when there isn't a link to where it's being sold, it's just fun sharing! If someone really likes a work, they'll do the footwork to seek out the blog and/or shop link provided in a profile.

  4. Thank you Carina for the above post. I don't have a shop or anything to sell but I agree that the point of the group should be to share ideas and to admire each other's work. I was totally honored the day that Florista invited me to join! I have found SO much inspiration within this flickr group and on Feeling Stitchy that it's insane! I also frequently check out other member's profiles to see who the person is that does work that I'm interested in. If they have a blog or a link to their Esty store, I always check them out.
    And that is my opinion on the matter :)

  5. I have "known" (flickr friends) several people who had their accounts closed without any warning for this exact reason- but that was several years ago. I'm not sure if they have relaxed the policy. I tend to be over-cautious because of that.

  6. Thank you for this post. I recently posted a bunch of my flickr photos in your group, and unfortunately I did have etsy links in the descriptions of each picture. I am still relatively new at all of this, and I was both relieved and embarrassed when another user politely pointed out to me that this went against both etiquette and flickr's official guidelines. I was so glad that someone pointed it out to me, because I'm not very good at reading the fine print, and I definitely did not mean or want to break any rules or come off as obnoxious.