Yahoo

Flickr Relaunches with 1TB of Free Space

Almost as if reading my mind after this morning's post, Yahoo! has relaunched Flickr with a new interface and 1TB of free storage for free users.

Pro accounts are being phased out, but existing Pro users get to keep their unlimited space, ad-free browsing, and statistics (for now). In place of Pro accounts, Flickr is now offering paid upgrades for either going ad-free ($50/year) or doubling your space to 2TB ($500/year).

The revamped UI takes cues from other social platforms like Twitter, App.net, Facebook, Google+, and Path, in that it allows you to upload a cover photo and displays your profile in a similar manner to those services. It's not wholly original or anything but I think it looks great. At least it doesn't look like 2006 anymore.

Photo pages are also much nicer, with images displayed in full resolution and shoving all the related info (description, comments, etc) below. It gives the photos a chance to breathe, which I love.

I need more time to play with this new interface, but I'm already really liking it so far. Kudos to Marissa Mayer and the Flickr team for shipping such a fantastic update.

Here is my Flickr page if you'd like to check it out.

"We Promise Not to Screw It Up"

Like wildfire, the news that Yahoo! has purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion has been spreading around the internet all morning.

I should make it clear that I don't have much personal investment in this news, for a few reasons:

  • The only Yahoo! product I use or care about is Flickr.
  • I'm not a Tumblr user.
  • I'm only subscribed to maybe two or three Tumblr blogs.

But there are still a couple of interesting tidbits in Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer's announcement (if you skip the lame gif at the top). The second sentence in her post is "We promise not to screw it up." This is a surprising bit of candor, and shows an actute awareness of how the public perceives her company these days. It's quite refreshing to see from a CEO, really.

That sentence is shortly followed by the fact that Tumblr will be allowed to run independently and retain their own CEO. Rather than interfere with the way Tumblr operates, they're willing to stay out of the way and let Tumblr do their own thing. I think this is the right way to go.

Unfortunately, her post then delves into a bunch of buzzwords and numbers, which is distasteful in my view but whatever.

Time will tell if Yahoo! screws this one up, but honestly I just hope they don't get too distracted from making improvements to Flickr. To me, that's their real killer product and always has been.

The Verge Interviews the Man Behind Flickr

Markus Spiering, Head of Product at Flickr:

“I can’t talk about the things that are coming up. But if you think 2012 was a big year, 2013 will be bigger.”

As I discussed not long ago, I'm excited that Flickr is making its way back into the web photography discussion, and it looks like Yahoo feels the same way now that Marissa Mayer has become CEO. I'm looking forward to what they've got in store.

'Long Live Flickr'

Jeffery Inscho on the new Flickr app:

"Feeling nostalgic for my glory days of the web, I downloaded the app to see what all the fuss was about. And the fuss, in my opinion, is justified. With one fell swoop, Flickr has injected itself back into the conversation of web relevance."

This is a perfect way of putting it. Flickr's diehard fans have long expressed worry that the service is waning and that Yahoo! hasn't paid enough attention to it even though it's likely their best product.

Now that Marissa Mayer is manning (womanning?) the helm, Flickr seems to be setting itself up for a resurgence. I'm still amazed at how good the new app is, and I've noticed a few subtle design changes taking place on Flickr.com itself. Despite following a large number of tech bloggers and photographers online, I have yet to see a negative statement about anything Flickr is doing right now.

It's pretty wild that a single app update on a phone can cause public opinion about an entire company to sway suddenly and drastically in the opposite direction. Any app developers out there not taking their work seriously would do well to consider that.

New Flickr App for iPhone

This morning saw an update to Flickr's maligned and oft-ignored iPhone app. Until today, it was basically usable for browsing photos and maybe uploading here and there, but the experience wasn't all that great. With this new update though, Flickr has decided to bring their 'A' game.

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Clearly the new UI has been inspired by Instagram, right down to the addition of photo filters. As popular as Instagram has become, I guess it was inevitable that Flickr would one day see them as a competitor.

While the old app was a big sluggish and weird, the new app is sleek, beautiful, and quick. Photos load nearly instantaneously, and scrolling through the gallery of recent uploads by my contacts has been a joy. The new photo filters aren't too bad either. This was my first test shot:

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I only recently started getting back into Flickr after years of neglect, but it feels like I'm late to the party because I don't see as much activity going on around there as I used to. Of course, there are still a few remaining diehard fans who have poured years of their lives into the service, but the rest? Who knows.

Now, with this fantastic update, I can imagine lots of people returning to their Flickr roots and I'm honestly pretty excited about that. It's Yahoo's one killer service and I think it deserves a chance to stick around for a long time. It's certainly been the topic of discussion on my Twitter feed today, and I'm taking that as a good sign.

Either way, I'll certainly be spending even more time on the service.