Smack-dab in the middle of Yahoo-Tumblr aqcuisition day, Yahoo is holding a major press event here in NYC. But announcements coming out of this event aren’t related to Tumblr as much as Flickr, the photo-sharing database and social network acquired by Yahoo in March of 2005 for $35 million.
Today, Flickr gets a huge revamp including a totally new look and feel, focused on three different things. First, there are no more bits of text or blue links, but rather a grid layout of huge pictures in full resolution.
Second, stemming from the updated iOS app recently, which yielded 25 percent more uploads, the company is also announcing a brand new Android experience, catching the Google version of the Flickr app up to the iOS version.
Finally, Flickr looks to get even “biggr.” The company is expanding storage for your photos, by quite a bit. Flickr is offering 1 terabyte of free storage for every Flickr user. Yahoo made it clear that no other Internet company in the world offers a free terabyte of storage. That’s the equivalent of 537,731 photos.
In terms of the UI redesign, the new photostream has a justified format grid layout, complete with a header photo and a Timeline-style profile for users. On the top left, next to the photostream button, you can also click into Favorites and Sets.
But what are photos without sharing? Users have an easy share button to send photos out on any of their favorite social networks, including Tumblr.
Most importantly, Flickr has fiddled with the picture page to give a black background and a fullscreen image for every single photo page. The site has been revamped to give easy-click access to the next photo in the set or photostream, even in full-screen mode.
Adam Cahan, SVP of Mobile and Emerging products at Yahoo, announced that Flickr currently has 89 million users who have shared over 8 billion photos. That’s a lot of pictures.
Mayer explained that most of the changes happening at Yahoo concerns users’ daily habits, which explains why the company has put so much focus on the Yahoo Home Page, Yahoo mail, and the Yahoo weather app. In a number of ways, these products are energized and enhanced by photos.
Yahoo’s, and particularly Marissa Mayer’s, tweaks to its overall service and the Flickr experience has helped build out both platforms, but there are still questions over Flickr’s ability to generate revenue and, perhaps more importantly, compete with photo-sharing behemoth Instagram.
It’s worth noting the timing here: Yahoo just bought out one of the biggest and most popular blogging platforms around, and Flickr is a huge resource for blogs in general. But how will Yahoo integrate the two to build out use of both and make both experiences more seamless?
“We have a nice set of the creator brands,” said Mayer. “Photographers and writers. With that, there is natural set of opportunities that arise between Flickr and Tumblr and we’ll deal with that as it comes.”
Alongside Flickr’s product announcement news, Mayer revealed that the company would be setting up shop at a new NY office in Times Square, in the New York Times building, which will hold all 500 employees based in NY, along with room for expansion to 200 more employees.