Yahoo unveils makeover of flickr site

May 21, 2013
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Reinvigorated technology player Yahoo! Monday unveiled a dusted-off design of its flickr photo platform only hours after the company’s dramatic acquisition of blogging site Tumblr.

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, maintaining that her ambition was to make flickr “awesome again,” said the new site will showcase “bigger images” and create a user experience that is “more immersive, more expressive.”

Mayer’s announcement of the flickr makeover came only hours after the company announced it was buying Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Referring to Tumblr, Yahoo promised “not to screw it up.”

Mayer, a Google veteran who joined Yahoo as chief executive last summer, Monday referred to flickr as a once-shining acquisition “that didn’t fare so well” and vowed that Tumblr would not follow a similar path.

The remade flickr aspires to transform a consumer experience that had become flat with excessive text and dull, uninspired photos.

Instead, under the new flickr, photos uploaded will be presented in full resolution and can adapt “wherever” users desire, meaning to different hand-held devices and social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, said Yahoo senior vice president Adam Cahan.

The showcase element is a free terabyte of space to store photos; enough capacity to store up to 537,731 images, Cahan said. That is more space that any user could possibly fill in a lifetime, Yahoo officials said.

“We wanted it to be unlimited,” Cahan said.

The revamped website, which went live Monday evening, also has a new look, cutting out words and user messages and instead featuring larger photos without text set against a sleek black background.

Mayer said flickr’s current subscription pool is in the “tens of billions.” She declined to release the company’s targets for growing subscriptions.

Mayer said Yahoo benefits from a “really healthy” revenue stream, largely from advertising.

The new flickr will employ new advertising formats that Yahoo is still developing. Users who want to opt out of advertising can pay $49.95 a year to access an ad-free version of flickr, said Yahoo’s Marcus Spiering.

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