May 04, 2007 |
Captain Obvious finally spoke up.
Yahoo!, a company that’s sometimes described as monstrous and convoluted, has come to its senses and realized it has absolutely no need for two unique photo hosts. One will do just fine.
The Internet giant has chosen to do away with Yahoo! Photos once and for all. Yahoo! Photos is the service it left to dawdle about the portal without aim or reason following the company’s decision to pick Flickr up from its solitary life on the Net. Sometimes you just have to know when to let go.
Yahoo! Photos is not and was not the most terrible photo host on the Web. There’ve been plenty that could more rightly claim the ‘Worst Of’ award. But it was never brilliant either. Flickr, on the other hand, has been nothing but superb.
Sure, Flickr has its faults. It doesn’t do everything for everybody. Frankly, what does? Compromises almost always need to be made, and Flickr has managed to please one of the largest groups of digital photographers on the planet, so it must be doing at least a few things right, no?
All the commendation in the world for Flickr can’t hide the fact that it’s not the most popular photo host on the Web, however. Yahoo! Photos holds that spot. Surprised? So are we.
At 28.5 million unique visitors catalogued, it’s only a few mil short of the top spot (Yahoo! Photos ranked 31.1 million), though, and even if Yahoo! doesn’t intend to transition its Yahoo! Photos users over to Flickr accounts immediately, it’s only logical to presume that the latter will overtake the former in numbers after the former hits retirement. Eventually, when Yahoo! Photos officially gets laid to rest, the company will strongly urge users to say their goodbyes to their trusty service and move along to something a little better. That something better is Flickr.
At that point, we’ll see the typical turn of events: A percentage will take on the roles of detractors and seek to lay down their digital slideshows outside Yahoo!’s empire. An even larger percentage will join Flickr. My guestimate is that Flickr’s 28.5-million-strong usership will grow anywhere between 50-75% within six months to a year.
News of the impending close of Yahoo! Photos’ shouldn’t be seen as all that important. Sure, according to the numbers, it’s a big place, and the exodus will take quite some time. But at this point only Flickr will work hand in hand with the company’s desire to immerse itself in all things Web 2.0.
Flickr will be the company’s photo dreamscape, which it very much needs to continue the development of if it wishes to maintain its lead (very small, currently) on Photobucket. How close are the two? 400,000 unique visitors from one another. Giving attention to one service and one service only is something Yahoo! very much needs to do right now.