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Copying all your Instagrams photos to Flickr

Flickstagram teaser

Instagram’s exploding popularity is having long-time iPhoneography buffs pay notice and watch in horror as mainstream users cannot get enough of its crappy filters and the obscenely low 612×612 pixel resolution. And with Facebook and Android now in the picture, no wonder some early adopters go to the extremes of closing their account while others, like Apple’s marketing honcho, stopped using Instagram for it“jumped the shark”.

To the most ardent fans, the last straw was Instagram’s confusing handling of the recent terms of service changes – even if it was much ado about nothing.

If you’ve been seriously contemplating importing your Instagrams over to Flickr but were put off by the tedious manual uploads – worry not, turns out there are a few ways to get that job done without too much fuss. iDB has you covered with this quick guide to bringing in all your Instagram photos to Flickr with just a few clicks…

I’ve tested a bunch of services which take the pain out of importing Instagram snaps into Flickr, having narrowed the choices down to two super simple web apps. The whole process boils down to authorizing a service to access your Instagram and Flickr account, choosing where to import the images on Flickr and setting your album privacy.

That’s all there is to it, really.


Flickstagram is easy. Just sign in with both your Instagram and Flickr account, choose a privacy level for the imported photos (Public, Friends and Family, Family or Private) hit the Go! button and walk away.

Flickstagram (screenshot 001)
Flickstagram lets you set your Flickr set’s privacy level prior to importing.

A few moments later, depending on the size of your Instagram library, all your Instagrams should appear in a Flickr set titled ‘Instagram Photos’. Of course, your Instagram photos are kept intact and will continue to be available online.

Free The Photos

Free The Photos is powered by CloudSnap and is very similar to Flickstagram. Upon signing in with both your Instagram and Flickr account, check the “Alert me once my migration finishes” box and type in your email address where you’ll receive an alert once the migration is finished.

Hit the big Free Your Photos button and you’re done.

Free The Photos (screenshot 001)
Free The Photos notifies you via email once it’s done importing your Instagrams.

Note that imports take anywhere between a few minutes to hours. Your mileage will vary depending on the size of your Instagram. And privacy freaks needn’t worry: neither Flickstagram nor Free The Photos will store, keep or use your photos or data because everything is streamed directly from Instagram to Flickr.

And because both services preserve meta data, the imported Flickr photos will include your Instagram captions, comments, location data and the original photo date. Even Instagram hashtags get converted to Flickr tags, which is a nice touch.


IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the “g”) is an acronym for IF This Than That. The web app operated by a San Francisco startup lets you create powerful connections to“make the Internet work for you”. It’s like Apple’s Automator app in OS X, just for the web.

IFTT (Instagram to Flickr)
Every time I share any new Instagram, IFTTT will automatically upload it to Flickr.

While the IFTTT service won’t import your past Instagrams into Flickr, you can use it to automate all Instagram uploads going forward.

I should also share a few tips before signing off.

After you’ve brought in all your pictures from Instagram, go to Flickr’s Organizer section and change the sort order for your new set to Date Posted. This will ensure that the images in your Flickr set appear to visitors in the same order as they were on Instagram.

Flickr (Organizer, sort order)
Remember to match your Flickr photos sort order to that on Instagram.

You also don’t need to be reminded to go through all of your Instagrams before transferring them to Flickr. Chances are you wouldn’t want some of the kinkier snaps publicized on Flickr, now would you?

The easiest way to avoid this: first, copy your Instagrams to a private Flickr set. Then, remove all unwanted images from the set before setting its privacy level to Public.

Please be aware of the following limitations concerning importing.

Firstly, if you’ve never set your location preferences in Flickr, location data attached to your Instagrams won’t get carried over to Flickr.

Secondly, Instagrams transfer to Flickr as they are, meaning very low resolution. See, even though Flickr from the onset was designed to store your images in their original resolution, Instagram wasn’t.

Instagram web profile (screenshot 002)

Instead, mobile Instagram apps always resize your snaps to low resolution just before sending them to the cloud. According to an Instagram help doc, the originals are currently being resized to the paltry 612-by-612 pixel uploads that we love to hate.

And thirdly, because free Flickr accounts can only receive 300MB of data per month, Free The Photos will migrate up to the last 10,000 photos. Flickstagram, on the other hand, will import only your first 1,500 photos.

Flickr (free vs paid account)

This won’t bother most folks, but clearly this is something of a concern to die-hard fans who have a few thousand Instagram snaps.

As for Flickr’s aforementioned bandwidth limitation, it doesn’t apply to paid accounts. A Pro Flickr account costs $25 per year to remove ads and enable unlimited bandwidth, among other benefits. Oh, almost forgot – Yahoo has a nice holiday gift for free account holders: three months of Flickr Pro, totally free of charge.

Flickr Holiday Gift 2012

You’ll want to take advantage of this offer and up your photo uploading limits in order to be able to bring in all your photos from Instagram in one fell swoop.

With that in mind, now’s also a good time to re-think your photo sharing strategy, especially if you dislike Instagram for what it is – a clearing house of kitten snaps and images of breakfast plates and converse shoes.

Should you think of another great tip or stumble upon useful advices on importing Instagrams to Flickr, please share them with fellow readers down in the comments.