Death By Redesign?

Death By Redesign

Yahoo celebrity CEO Marissa Mayer headlined a Broadway revival of “How to Succeed in Business” the other day, tap-dancing through a Times Square presser marking the $1 Billion acquisition of Tumblr and a new Yahoo NYC HQ. As an afterthought, Ms. Mayer unveiled the evisceration of Flickr, a formerly functional photo sharing platform. Yahoo acquired Flickr eight years ago and then ignored it, but since Yahoo has been an acquisition graveyard, that benign neglect may account for Flickr’s survival. Until now. The new “improvements” may kill it off.

A neglected but huge fact: Management and coding didn’t make Flickr valuable; that was done by the 89 million users who contributed their 8 billion photographs. Users are now offered 1 Terabyte of storage for free, but ads will soon infest their accounts. Want to avoid ads? Pay twice the rate of a current Pro Account so you won’t see them. Then there’s the $500 Doublr account.

The Flickr re-do is a marketing triumph and usability disaster. All the marketing blather in the world can’t fix bad design. Images now appear in a previously optional “lightbox” display, a dynamic grid that is visually fatiguing and tough to navigate. Asked to save this photo platform, Marissa Mayer merely turned Flickr into Pinterest.

Tumblr: Watch your back.


“Flickr’s 1TB for photos is great, but how about a smart shoebox?” Danny Sullivan, CNET

Flickr user comment stream (scroll down)

Marissa Mayer’s Flicker account: Only 19 iPhone images since August 2012.


Flicker users: Signed the petition yet?


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy (from Flickr, natch!) here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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