(The Hosting News) – In an interview with New York Times, Blake Irving declared “Hell Yes We Are,” when prompted, is Yahoo committed to Flickr? Recent news around the photo sharing site hit the internet world with speculation of Flickr being sold.
This confusion over Flickr and their future is not surprising due to Yahoo’s recently declared plans to shut down or dispose of other web products including Delicious, the book marking service. With the industry boom of Facebook and their photo sharing services it will be a hard battle for Flickr to keep its users returning for the same services the social networking giant now offers.
Unique visitors to the photo sharing site Flickr have declined in the United States over the past year by 16 percent, totaling 21.3 million users still using the site, according to comScore. On the other hand, Facebook’s photo sharing users grew 92 percent to a startling 123.9 million users. No one doubts the appeal of Flickr’s high quality images, but the majority of users wish to post more family and life oriented photos leaving them with less photo bug sharing site needs.
“The Internet is starting to rotate around the axis of Facebook — not everything, but everything social,” Mr. Rohan said. “Yahoo and Flickr don’t really have the gravitational pull that would make Flickr the axis that they once imagined.”
Matthew Rothenberg, who heads Flickr, said he did not worry about Facebook and its growing user base, but rather about the quality of Flickr’s service. The rest, he said, will take care of itself. “To me it’s not a numbers game,” Mr. Rothenberg said. “I think we’re trying to build the best experience that we can and make sure our users are engaged and happy — and more and more of them will sign up.”
Flickr was founded in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield and his wife at the time, Caterina Fake. The site quickly gained a following and a year later they sold the company to Yahoo for approximately $35 million.
Mr. Rothenberg’s best achievements over the last year are a redesigned photo page that offer larger images and a system for users to log into Flickr through their Google and Facebook accounts. The goal, Mr. Rothenberg said, is “to recall the experience of sharing photos before the digital age, when people would sit together on a couch, thumb through a photo album and tell stories.”
“What we are trying to do at Flickr ultimately is to use all these new technologies to get back to that experience — to get back to that rich storytelling experience — and to do it in the only way it can be done, with the technologies of today,” he said.