How to move from Instagram to Flickr, and take your photos with you.

It really is easy to move away from Instagram’s oppressive  rights and ownership terms to Flickr’s transparent 100% rights and ownership of your shared photos, while taking all of your hard earned shots with you. As many of you know, Instagram has made some pretty significant changes to there Terms of Service around ownership and usage of Instagram user’s photos. They have retreated somewhat and now say that users photos won’t be used in ads as originally stated, but who knows for how long. I must admit that I really had not been using Instagram much in recent months due to social media overload, their poor image quality, and generally uninterested in the platform and their plans to share data to Facebook. It just so happens that long time photo sharing social network Flickr had just re-released an updated iOS and Android apps with much better camera and filters, just like Instagram. When I tested the new app I realized that I could all of the same features of Instagram with the knowledge that I would have 100% ownership of my photos because of  Flickr’s use of Creative Commons licensing. The Flickr app has all of the same filters to funkify your shots, a social network to share, favour and comment, and way better image quality to boot. In general Flickr does way more than Instagram does and has the love of the new Yahoo CEO who really wants to see the app grow. I could go on and on about how much better Flickr is than Instagram on a ton of levels but think that it’s been very well covered here on My post is really about moving from one to the other without loosing all of that photo equity built up in your Instagram account. So are you ready to make the move?

The Download

First you need to get your photos out of Instagram, and because they have what is called Oath authentication they allow other approved apps access to user’s data if they choose to connect the 3rd party apps into their API. In fact Instagram have linked to for a long time in their Tips & Tricks section for those that want to download their images from their Instagram accounts.

  1. Point your desktop browser over to then click on the “Sign in with Instagram” and connect to your Instagram account.
  2. Next click the “Start Export” button. You will see a few options on what type of file to download, I recommend the zip file as the best option.
  3. Next you will see a progress wheel with the message “The export of your photos is now running. Please check back later…”
  4. All you need to do now is wait until has finished pulling off all of your images off of Instagram, the more you have the longer it will take.
  5. Once they are ready you will see a button that says “Download images”. Click it and save the zip file of images to your computer.


Once you have your images downloaded it’s time to get your Flickr account ready.

  1. Sign up here with either a Yahoo, Google, or Facebook account.

The Upload

  1. Now located that zip file you downloaded from and unzip it.
  2. Locate the “Upload” button in the top right of your Flickr nav bar and click to have the uploader appear.
  3. Now select all the downloaded Instagram images from your computer and drag them over the upload window.
  4. As they upload you can do some bulk actions like create unique sets, tags, and locations just to name a few.

Organize & Share

Now you can get access to all of your images and group them as you wish, share them into all of your social networks like Facebook and Twitter all with the knowledge that the ownership will be yours for as long as you want to on Flickr. The cool thing is now you can add, share, and converse with other about yours and their photos just like on Instagram.

You can see the results from my migration to Flickr   Instagram Shots on Flickr



  1. Colleen Dix says:

    Thanks for this JP! It was really easy to follow each step and I’ve now started using Flickr too as a result. So should I delete the photos in Instagram first before I delete my account? Any thought?

  2. jaypiddy says:

    Hey Colleen, It’s a manual process that can only be done via mobile device to remove the images on Instagram. I am doing it a few at a time as I do want to keep the account to be able to view others. I just don’t want to have my photos on the platform any longer.

  3. Mark Busse says:

    This is great if you want to have downloaded copies of images, but there is a WAY easier method. Go to, sign in, and click a button. Done.

  4. jaypiddy says:

    Thanks @mark for the tip. When I wrote this the other week there was only a few options. Cheers

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