Sunday, February 03, 2008

REMEMBER: If Microsoft buys Yahoo, they own Flickr, too

I am a huge fan and power user of Flickr, a photo site which is focussed on encouraging users to share and view each others photos. It is great because it allows posting of any of your own photos on any of your own websites, and has a huge array of partners to make better use of the photos. They also expose an API to allow other websites to share their data and produce interesting applications and mashups. Last year, they were acquired by Yahoo, who pretty much decided to not change anything about Flickr, other than integrating the usernames with Yahoo identities.

Now, Microsoft has made an offer to acquire Yahoo and by doing so they would end up owning Flickr as well. And while Flickr is famous for sharing and openness, Microsoft is famous for HATING sharing and openness. As such, a rebellion is forming among Flickr power users and many are threatening to take their business elsewhere. If you are a FLickr user, I STRONGLY recommend you consider using their QOOP service now to get backup disks, to ensure you do not lose control of your own photos.

To be fair, Microsoft would be CRAZY to change much about Flickr. It would invalidate the reason for the acquisition. The problem is, you can NEVER be sure Microsoft won't be crazy. Backup disks provide insurance. OR you may want to consider one of their competitors which allow automatic import of Flickr libraries.

1 comment:

quizwedge said...

Found this at flickr:

"Windows Live Photo Gallery is the new, free, photo management application from Microsoft. It makes it easy to download pictures from your camera or memory card, edit or crop them, and upload them directly to Flickr."

A sign of things to come?