February 22, 2007 |
The biggest buzz to come out about the back room discussion about this move in waiting came by way of Dan Heller's Photography Business Blog, where he tracks everything to do with glass, shutters, and the magic they create together. Heller wrote that it would be an “obvious” logical move by Yahoo!, and that “not doing so while…on top of the game would be suicide.”
I agree. Millions of photos. Some by professional, some by amateurish. Some terrible, some unforgettable. That description fits iStockPhoto, an online outfit owned by Getty Images which harbors both awe-inspiring stills and fairly dull and unimpressive snapshots. But it also fits Flickr. If anyone has the supply and the financial backing to undercut the elephant in the room (iStockPhoto), it’s the people currently doling out sights for free.
Stephen Shankland of CNET’s Web 2.0 Blog wrote, “with some tweaks to the Web site and an opt-in check box on the image upload page, Yahoo/Flickr photographers could begin selling images to the sorts of folks who need to buy stock art – newspapers, PowerPoint presenters, brochure authors, advertising agencies.” Surely, more than a few tweaks will be necessary to place Flickr’s Stock Image collections on par or above those on iStockPhoto, but the general idea is there, and it would work well. Yahoo! just needs to execute.
For now this is all just hearsay, but if Yahoo! know what’s good for them, they’ll seriously consider adding a stock photo archive to Flickr. Opening millions of their users to the possibility of selling their own work (some of the site’s stockpiles are clearly gallery-worthy) through Flickr – even promoting Creative Commons while they’re at it – can make waves in the sea of stock photography online. Big waves.
Yahoo! may be a while away from introducing ‘iStockFlickr’ to the world, but they’d be fools not to have thought about it, and would see a great opportunity missed if they chose to forgo a battle between the Web’s stock photography heavyweight, which we have every reason to believe they could fight very effectively.