A funny, and somewhat unexpected, thing happened today. Yahoo, now with Marissa Mayer at the helm, decided that it was time to bring an all-new experience to the world when it comes to photo sharing and hosting. It’s a whole lot of new for Flickr’s site and iOS app, and a bit of old nostalgia at play today, which is quite refreshing.
Flickr has come a long way, and not in the prettiest of fashion either. What started out as a fantastic photo service, became a shell of itself once Yahoo! purchased the company behind it, Ludicorp, in March 2005 for a reported $35M. The co-founders left in 2008, and so did its heart. When Mayer was hired as CEO, hope came back.
One of the killer features of the new Flickr app that most people haven’t picked up on yet is the fact that it’s super simple to build up, and update, your social graph on Flickr. Yes, playing nice with other companies does have its upside. By simply tapping into your Facebook, Twitter, and address book contacts, you can completely bring Flickr back to life for your friends and for yourself.
It’s quite simple. Let’s not forget that you can also share all of your photos to these services with simplicity.
All you have to do is open the app and start connecting your accounts if they’re not already. With a simple people picker, you can start sending friend requests from Flickr. Some of those folks are already using the service, since basically everyone has a Yahoo account from “back in the day.” I’ve personally been getting requests all morning, and it’s nice.
Below, you can see how simple it is to connect with existing friends using the Flickr app:
Will they be shut down by Facebook and Twitter? Let’s hope not.
The power of all of this is that Yahoo has chosen to be a partnership-friendly company, basically, not compete with everyone else. With that approach, they are indeed competing with everyone, but in a nicer way. Twitter doesn’t care where you share photos from really, as long as it’s a great experience for its users. Flickr nailed that with Twitter Card integration.
When it comes to Instagram and Facebook, locking the photos away is clearly not what Flickr is all about. The company says that it wants to promote and enable content creators, not hide their work away. This approach can win. I predict that this approach will win.
And by win, I mean, become a leader in the photo space once again. You remember, everyone was on Flickr, talking about Flickr and using Flickr. Will it happen again? Can it? Let’s wait and see.
He who controls the mobile photos, controls the universe.—
Alexia Tsotsis (@alexia) December 12, 2012
Perhaps it’s “she”, in this case. Let’s just say “whomever”.
Updated for backstory and clarity sake
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang. It has since evolved into a major internet brand with search, content verticals, and other web services. Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, is a global Internet brand. To users, the Company provides owned and operated online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties, Offerings, or Owned and Operated sites). Yahoo! also extends its marketing platform and access to Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties through its distribution network...
Former game designers Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake created Flickr, an online photo sharing network, in 2004. Flickr, which began as a photo-sharing feature of their gaming project, has since then blossomed into one of the premiere photo-sharing sites on the web. Yahoo purchased Flickr for $35 million in March of 2005. Since then Flickr continues to compete with other photo-sharing giant Photobucket.