Is it too late for Flickr?

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Ian Byrne

Is it too late for Flickr?

That Marissa Mayer is really on a tear isn’t she. First she goes out and spends a boat load of cash on Tumblr, now she’s gone and given Flickr a facelift that would make Joan Rivers blush, if she could still blush of course.

The reaction to the update has been mixed to say the least (I pity the poor forum staffer who had to deal with this backlash ). Flickr Pro users are pissed at a lot of things to do with the update, including the yearly subscription price increase and the drastic change in user experience. The reaction seems a little harsh though and hopefully it’ll calm down once people get used to it.

That said, there has been some positive reaction, with many digging Flickr’s new skin , and the 1TB of free space is undoubtedly going to be a big draw for tons of people.

It’s a pretty big move on Yahoo’s part. The whole photo sharing/storage niche is a pretty busy sphere online, what with sites such as 500px, SmugMug, PhotoBucket, Picasa etc. etc. already filling a void that Flickr left when it decided to suck and not update itself when it should have. (Side note: think what would have happened if Yahoo did the update 2 years ago!)

And who exactly are Yahoo targeting? 1TB is hefty chunk of change, so is it geared for storage purposes? It’s also being positioned as a social site in it’s own regard, which makes sense. Flickr has and always will be a photo sharing site.

I used Flickr for client accounts a couple of years ago and quickly stopped using it because it was just plain awful. That said, the new design is pretty fetching and if there’s a terabyte on the go for free then I can think of worse ways to go.

So the jury seems to be out on this one. My worry is that Flickr’s update is an exercise in futility. Many users migrated to other sites over the past few years, and now Yahoo have pissed off the community who stayed.

Is it a case of a little too late?

Are you a Flickr user? What do you think of the update?

For a more in depth look at the Flickr updates check out these two articles by Techland and TechRadar .

Ian is VP of 88 Creative. Follow him on Twitter @ianobyrno .

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