A little over a month ago I gave some reasons why my failed attempts to find a flickr alternative (see Flickr Alternatives) failed in my first “Why There Is No Flickr Alternative” post. Little did I know Marissa Meyer is on a war path to turn Yahoo! around, and it looks like she is focusing in all off the right places. Despite what critics may say of her recent Tumblr purchase or of the new Flickr revamp, things are changing, and you cannot wrong her for trying to turn the company around. After all, that is her job.
But this isn’t a post to praise Meyer for her attempts. Rather, this is is a post to talk about why patience and sticking with a sinking ship can sometimes yield pleasant results.
The New Look
Flickr was bought up by Yahoo! and then pretty much abandoned. While the rest of the web landscape changed, flickr remained stagnant. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t great. The new layout is quite the turnaround. While I am not sold on the block layout look for your personal stream I think what Yahoo! has done for your update stream works incredibly well. Not only are photos the most prominent item in view (the old look was very busy), your groups, commons and the blog all hold a strong, but not overbearing presence. There is a clear hierarchy and you don’t have to fight through square thumbnails anymore. I also love what they have done with the notifications. Yes, the square thumbnail seemed hard to shake here, but the panoramic knockout behind the notification info is a great little touch. I also love that I can favorite and comment right from the stream. They were also smart with the redesign. They didn’t do everything at once, but the layout the came up with works rather seamlessly with the old and the new. No doubt Meyer will have plans to churn through some of the vestigial pages and bring up the new look all together.
The Storage Size
In my last post I said how I liked having easy access to the photos I’ve stored. Now, since I have maintained my pro, thankfully, nothing will change. I pay a little more and still get unlimited storage. While the new terabyte of storage is practically unlimited for free users, it is nice to know I am rewarded for being an existing Pro member. Regardless, one terabyte, or an existing pro membership, Flickr still reigns supreme here.
Previously I mentioned how I enjoyed the “post to tumblr” feature. Now that Yahoo! owns Tumblr, I can imagine this will only become more seamless and potentially more fun. Especially if they allow you to create a tumblr photo-set straight from your flickr stream, one feature that keeps me uploading my photos to Flickr and Tumblr for certain projects. If Flickr continues down this path, I’m not going to say they will return to the former glory, but they certainly are enroute to picking up the next generation of photographers whom are searching for something more than micro and macro sharing. While sites like Instagram and Tumblr allow for quick bursts of sharing, there is no doubt that sites like WordPress and Flickr will remain around for a long, long time, for those who enjoy longer formats.
What are your thoughts on the redesign and the future of Yahoo? Feel free to comment below.