This is a #longread full of object lessons in how a corporate strategy can utterly swamp and fuck up a project, especially when mixed when liars with forceful personalities.
I still use Flickr for that oldest of reasons: I have friends who use it. And I don't like putting my photos on Facebook because I do not trust Facebook at all (which distrust they have earned, by constantly stealing user photos to use in ads). But I probably will not renew my Flickr Pro account because it just isn't worth it to me. There isn't value there anymore.
How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet
Among other problems, it wouldn't let you upload several photos at once, you had to go in manually submit them one at a time. It was downscaling photos to 450 x 600, murdering image quality. Users had to log in via Safari rather than in the app itself. It was striping EXIF data from photos as they uploaded—precisely the kind of thing Flickr's photo nerds wanted to see.
People. Fucking. Hated it.
The app landed like a pile of mud on a wedding gown. As one App Store reviewer put it, "For uploading to Flickr, this is really the worst app I've tried; you're better off just emailing photos direct from the phone in that respect."
It somehow managed to get Flickr's two key strengths—photo sharing and storage—completely wrong.
Possibly worst of all—at least from a business perspective—you couldn't sign up for a Flickr account from the app. (In fact, you still can't. It kicks you over to the Web to sign up with Yahoo if you want to register as a new user.) While other apps draw users into their Web services (think Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and notably Instagram) the Flickr app that Yahoo Mobile rolled out had no mechanism for that. It was not a recruitment tool. It was just for existing users.
"That was a big oversight," says Fake. That's an understatement. It was the mother of all fuckups.