How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...
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But moreover, Yahoo needed to leverage this thing that it had just bought. Yahoo wanted to make sure that every one of its registered users could instantly use Flickr without having to register for it separately. It wanted Flickr to work seamlessly with Yahoo Mail. It wanted its services to sing together in harmony, rather than in cacophonous isolation. The first step in that is to create a unified login. That’s great for Yahoo, but it didn’t do anything for Flickr, and it certainly didn’t do anything for Flickr’s (extremely vocal) users.

via How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.

Gizmodo article on how Yahoo first bought Flickr then proceeded to let it erode. As the old cliche sez’, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. For me personally I didn’t really mind the issue others had with the Yahoo login. I was allowed to use the Flickr login for a long time after they were taken over. But I still had to create a Yahoo account even if I never used it for anything other than accessing Flickr. Once I realized this was the case, i dearly wished Google had bought them as I WAS already using GMail and other Google services like it.

Most recently there’s been a lot of congratulations spread around following the release of a new Flickr uploader. I always had to purchase an add-on to my Apple iPhoto in order to streamline the cataloging, annotating, and arranging of picture sets. Doing the uploads one at a time through the Web interface was not on, I needed bulk uploads, but I refused to export picture sets out of iPhoto just to get them into Flickr. So an aftermarket arose for people like me invested heavily into iPhoto. And these add-on programs worked great, but they would go out of date or be incompatible with newer versions of iPhoto. So you would have to go back and drop another $10 USD on a newer version of your own iPhoto/Flickr exporter.

And by this time Facebook had so taken over the social networking aspects of picture sharing, no one could see the point of a single medium service (just picture sharing). When Facebook allowed you to converse, play games, and poke your friends, why would you log out and open Flickr to just manage your photos. The level of integration and friction was too high for the bulk of Internet users. So Facebook had gain the mindshare, reduced the friction and made everything seamless and just work the way everyone thought it should. And it is hard to come back from a defeat like that with the millions of sign ups that Facebook was enjoying. Yahoo should have had an app for that early on and let people share their Flickr sets with people using  similar access controls and levels of security.

I would have found Flickr a lot more useful if it had been well bridged into the Facebook universe during the critical time period of 2008-2010. For me that would have been just the time period when things were really chaotically ramping up in terms of total new Facebook account creations. The addition of an insanely great Flickr App for Facebook could have made a big difference with helping grow the community awareness and possibly garner a few new Flickr accounts along the way. However, agendas are always so much more blinders in the way that they close you off to the environment in which you operate. Flickr and Yahoo’s merger and the agenda of ‘integration’ more or less was the single most important thing going on during the giant Facebook ramp-up. And so it goes, Yahoo stumbles more than once and takes a perfectly good Web 2.0 app and lets it slowly erode Friendster and MySpace before it. So long Flickr it’s been good to know yuh.

Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase



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