Flickr was once one of the most exciting sites on the web, essential for most creatives. But after it was bought by Yahoo in 2005 things started to drift. Will its new redesign refine users’ enthusiasm?
In the light of Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr, and promise not to “screw it up” the relaunch of Flickr is interestingly timed to say the least. Here’s one acquisition which many feel Yahoo certainly did “screw up’ — or at least failed to give sufficient love and attention to.
The redesign is an attempt to address that, promising “a Flickr that’s more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere”. Users now have a terabyte of storage space — an unimaginable amount even ten years ago.
The new homepage (see top) is a vast improvement, doing away with the old thumbnails to present images from your contacts in a grid, giving maximum space to photographs. Something also carried through to photostreams and sets.
Looks like we need to update our icons too.
Apparently, Yahoo’s Adam Canah had admitted that “Flickr had become about words, little images, and blue links…Flickr really was not about the photo anymore.” This is a much more visually appealing site with the accent firmly on the image and the text elements relegated to the margins.
Users are rightly suspicious when large companies acquire start-ups — things move slower in bigger companies and priorities differ. Tumblr users have been left wondering whether it will meet the same fate as Flickr.
Yahoo have finally got around to giving Flickr some much-needed TLC but is it too little too late?