Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Flickr Has the Opportunity to Become the Next Flickr

It's quite amazing to think that Flickr, once one of the best photocentric social sites, was purchased by Yahoo in 2005 for, wait for this, around $30 million. (No, that's not a typo, people used to buy start-ups for million of dollars, not billions.)

Back then, the passion around Flickr would make the the fervor of Instagram look like a 12-second flash mob in Boise, Idaho. People loved - I mean loved! â€" Flickr. But somewhere along the way, it lost its way. Now, after years of neglect by other Yahoo executives, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new chief executive, is finally giving Flickr the attention it deserves.

On Wednesday the company announced a major update to the Flickr mobile application. People can take pictures, apply filters and share on any number of social networks. The new app can be su mmed up with one word: beautiful.

But the app goes beyond just a few filters and a spruced-up design. The updated mobile experience now feels like a social network that focuses on photography, not a photography Web site that happens to have a social network.

As Flickr moves forward, it has to be careful it doesn't try to be something that it is not. Instagram is trying to be like Twitter, while Twitter is trying to be like Instagram. Facebook is trying to be like, well, who knows what it's trying to be? Either way, there is currently a gaping void on the Web for people to share higher-resolution beautiful photos. Flickr should be that place, as it once was. We don't need another Web site or service to see pictures of someone's lunch or their soy latte, or another teenager making a duck face.< /p>

A focus on the iPad could be a boon for the company. Although a lot of people don't take photos on their iPad, they sure do like to look at images on it. Could Flickr create a beautiful magazinelike iPad application that allows people to skim through high-resolution images on the service? (When they are done with that, the Web site could use a bit of a revamp.)

Yahoo has the opportunity to make Flickr the photo-sharing site on the Web. And if it continues to innovate and update the service, Flickr could even become the next Flickr.