What Will Happen to Flickr?

Ever since Microsoft began its attempt to takeover Yahoo I started thinking about the future of Flickr. That’s really the only Yahoo service I use (and I pay for). Microsoft does not have a good history with web services. Yeah, at the beginning of the web everyone had a Hotmail account, but they quickly fell behind in the times with that. They couldn’t keep up with the features and storage of other competitors, like Yahoo and Google. It seems that every attempt they’ve made has failed. Does anyone actually use Microsoft’s Spaces? Can anyone actually find anything via their Live Search? Personally, I think Microsoft’s Live search has to be the worst search engine out there.

I know thinking that Microsoft going in and breaking a winning formula (winning in the user’s views, not necessarily in the business sense) probably isn’t going to happen, but it is Microsoft. I don’t have much faith in them. No, they won’t rewrite Flickr to use ASP.NET or something crazy like that, but I do worry about what they can do to mess up Flickr. I also think that a lot of the passionate Flickr users, especially the ones that were there pre-Yahoo, will definitely not like the change of hands and move to a new photo service. I really wish Google would spend some time developing their Picasa and Picasa Web services, up the storage allotment, and make it a real competitor in the online photo storage market. It has great potential, and with Microsoft trying to take over Yahoo, now would be the perfect time for them to woo users. Of course, I may just be paranoid about what will happen to Flickr, but it’s a service I pay for and a place where I store my photos, so I do wonder about the future. Do I really want to feed my money and data to Microsoft? Not likely. If Microsoft buys Yahoo, will you stay with Flickr? Will you move somewhere else? If so, where?

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6 Comments

  • Ali B.
    Posted 4/19/2008 at 10:44 pm 0Likes

    I don’t pay for Flickr, but I sure won’t use it the minute Microsoft takes over, that is *IF* they even do. I think it’s not likely for Microsoft to acquire Yahoo, They’ve been around forever and I think they are doing pretty great not to consider selling.
    Of course, I don’t have much background on the subject nor I am a wallstreet geek, so don’ take my word for it :)

  • Michael C. Harris
    Posted 4/19/2008 at 11:05 pm 0Likes

    I think the Microsoft take over is inevitable, unfortunately, but if they’re smart they’d leave Flickr alone. I’d stay with Flickr if it basically stayed independent, but if it turns MSy, I’d have to leave. No idea where though.

  • Mark
    Posted 4/20/2008 at 4:02 am 0Likes

    Microsoft would acquire to get bigger, grow the business, catch some more ‘customers’, maybe generate income from something other than payments. . But that’s what anyone would do.

    Google would make it free then plaster it with ads, then let their engineers run code to improve their own image algorithms. Oh yes, you’d need an account too.

    You have people with google mail, google pages, google reader, google search (yahoo search is pretty good), google analytics, google adsense and then google’s picasa. Google completely owns you online. Eggs/basket. What makes them more benevolent than Microsoft? Google f*cked up usenet when they bought that – want to post? get an account. Want to read the alt* hierarchy? You can’t because it might have Bad Stuff in there. Want to search for warez? Google’s the place. Want to search for text-link-ads? Google removed it. Page rank was a factor in spam and nofollow remains an exploited joke? That’ll be google. I could go on.

    Don’t assume Microsoft will be bad just as you assume Google will be good. They are as evil and as good as each other.

    And http://smugmug.com is neat. I certainly wouldn’t have uploaded 2500+ photos if I didn’t think so.

  • Mark
    Posted 4/20/2008 at 4:28 am 0Likes

    I forgot something – Google bought Blogger.

  • Ali B.
    Posted 4/20/2008 at 9:35 am 0Likes

    SmugSmug is cool and all, but I have a problem with the way they handle their “private” photos. I mean if the photo is private, it SHOULD NOT be accessible just because you know its url. What bothered me more is SmugSmug’s owner attitude about it when it was reported, whether it’s now fixed or not.

  • Mark
    Posted 4/20/2008 at 1:26 pm 0Likes

    All my private photos are passworded. I think there are changes they can make and they have been echoed in their forums but it’s still looking good.

    As for the owner’s attitude that doesn’t bother me. I looked at what the options were, checked them all and then just got on with it. There is a whole lot more there to like for me than flickr which I was not entirely happy with in the first place.

    In the end though, there are 2 choices: hide the url or hide behind a password. That doesn’t seem unreasonable.

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