They were first (or close enough) in creating communities of users to contribute and engage in meaningful ways. They were first to offer 'unlimited' storage even if you didn't pay, they kept your images around so that whenever you came back, they would be there waiting for you. They were first in building quality API to interact with other services that people use. They were even first among the vowel droppers of app naming. All of these advantages meant nothing in a few years. I have tried 500px and SmugMug as replacements and none of them felt as seamless in terms of sharing. I loathed uploading directly to facebook but I eventually pulled the Flickr-Facebook integration since the mobile app sucked so bad.
So here we are, in 2013, as Melissa Mayer attempts to buy their way back to relevance. They acquired tumblr today, which I recently began using after choosing the 'Betamax/MiniDisc/HD-DVD' option in Posterous way back when those two were competitors and before twitter acquired Posterous and let that platform wither and die. Another attempt to get back in the game, they've offered 1TB (yes that's 537,731 6.5 Mpx images as their new landing page eloquently reminds me) gratis for all users. So all my images are back and hopefully they can get the photographers and artists back and make this platform a player again. I'm in.