Did anyone else notice that Flickr’s redesign propelled it in the direction of looking exactly like Facebook would look if images were the only content type? I am not denying that Marissa Mayer has brought an incredible amount of fresh ideas and new strategies to reinvigorate Yahoo and at the very least to keep it in the news, but the Flickr property, mostly ignored since its 2005 acquisition, seems to be rebounding in the direction of other platforms.
This style choice could be intentional—let me explain why. User experience is one of the best ways to drive design and technical interfaces, and nowhere is this more important (in my mind) than on social media platforms. With roughly 67% of adult internet users in the United States set up on Facebook, it’s not hard to see why Facebook is comparable to the gold standard for social. Yahoo was not wrong in leaning in (pun intended) this direction with Flickr’s new roll out.
From a personal and professional perspective, I have always valued the functionality of Flickr as a digital photo album tool. Vacation photos that you want to share only with family can be easily uploaded to a specific album or set that is private except via a link. Now that you can upload one terabyte of images before switching to the pro version, you should be set for several vacations or events.
I have also always appreciated Flickr’s built in slideshow code, allowing users to host a Flickr set on any website just by copying and pasting the code. A recent attempt to try the same sharing with Google+ albums failed for me, in part because (for no good reason) Google is slowly phasing out Picasa web albums. Although perhaps this was the opening Yahoo saw to remake Flickr into something awesome again.
Bringing up Google and Google+ takes me to my final thought about Flickr’s redesign. It’s fair to say that no one really cares all that much about Google+ as a social networking platform. That said, if your organization is not on Google+, you can kiss your page rank goodbye (well, almost). For organizations looking to be found on the internet (and remember, something like 90% of internet users start with search), a Google+ page is equivalent to a listing in the local phone book circa 20 years ago. But it’s not just Google+ that is important.
You wouldn’t host your video content on a platform other than YouTube (or you shouldn’t), which is owned by Google (and helps with Google searches), so I am wondering if Flickr can, with this redesign, draw photo content away from Picasa/Google+ and back to its platform. It is certainly possible.
What do you think? Is your photo content on Flickr currently? Do you think you’ll move it there now? Share your thoughts.