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R.I.P. Flickr?

Feb 1, 2007

I've been a big advocate of Flickr since the very beginning of the site, as it provides a great way for me to put my photography out on the net for what it is really a very low cost. I think the feature set is not only robust but very useful, and the site as a whole has only improved over time.

I remember hearing about Yahoo acquiring the site, which I had hoped would be nothing more than an acquisition without any change of the core structure. For a while, it seemed like that was exactly what it would be, but this week I received what I view as a very bad omen for the future. I opened a message in my Flickr inbox and it was essentially a notice that starting in mid-March all Flickr users would be forced to either use a pre-existing Yahoo ID or to generate one to continue using Flickr. My issue here is that Yahoo has always struck me as a crap web portal, popular but largely useless. If in fact this is just the start of a "yahoo-zation" of Flickr, I will be quickly departing and my sense from various forums around the web is that others feel the same way. I don't usually care much for "community driven" sites, but Flickr was one of the exceptions to the rule.

It's still entirely possible that this change is simply a streamlining measure, meant to ease the login process down to a single ID type as opposed to two. If that's the case, and Flickr maintains it's high quality and independence from the Yahoo machine, then I'll be pleasantly surprised. If not, it will simply be another bright light smothered by the corporate machine.