More news from Yahoo on Monday: The company is revamping photo-sharing service Flickr and is also opening a New York City office. Tumblr’s employees, however, will remain at their current office.


Yahoo’s already had a busy Monday, what with that little $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition, but the company had a few more announcements to make at a press conference Monday afternoon in New York. It’s revamping its photo-sharing service Flickr, which has largely been left to languish since Yahoo acquired it in 2005. “We want to make Flickr awesome again,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said.

Flickr is getting three big updates. All users will get 1 terabyte of photo storage for free. The site’s interface is also being redesigned to focus on full-resolution photos — both in photo browsing and in search — rather than words and links. Users will be able to share the full-resolution photos by email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. And, in addition to the iOS app Flickr launched last December, Yahoo is launching an Android app.

Flickr Pro, which had allowed users to pay for more storage space, is going away. “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said (though she acknowledged that there are “different skill levels”). There are still a couple of paid options: Users can pay $49.99 a year for an ad-free interface, and can add a second terabyte of data for $499.99 per year. It’s unclear what will happen with existing Flickr Pro memberships that users have already paid for.

On an investor call on Monday morning, Mayer had noted that there are “obvious synergies between Flickr and Tumblr,” but that it’s too early to say what those opportunities will be.

The choice of location for the press conference — a hotel in Times Square — became clear as Mayer announced that Yahoo has taken out a lease for office space at 229 West 43rd Street — the old New York Times building — and will be moving all 500 of its New York-based employees there. Tumblr’s employees, however, will stay downtown at their Union Square office.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg took the stage to say the move reflects “what a big player New York has become in the tech industry,” with Yahoo becoming “one of the largest tech presences in the city.” He noted that Tumblr is a “New York-grown company” and that NYC was the first city government to have its own Tumblr.

“Twenty years ago, if you looked out the window, there were plenty of yahoos in Times Square,” he said. “Now the Yahoos here will make an honest living … and help us grow and make our economy stronger.”

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  1. So this is where the Google went when Google lost it.
    Good for them, it’s not like anyone will need 1TB for pictures anytime soon but it sounds appealing and by the time most will need all that storage, Yahoo will be able to afford it

    1. Um, some of us will. I already have over 1,100 photos taking up over 1gb of space. I have a Pro account, but I have no idea what’s going to happen to it, so I’m seriously considering moving my stuff to another photo site.

    2. Oops. I meant over 1TB of space.

      1. Slow down a second. You’ve used 1tb of space for only 1100 images? Since 1tb is 1000gb that means each one of your pics is almost 1 gigabyte in size. What kind of camera do you use? and also, why would you post images that bloody big?

  2. alexmedawayhasleftthebuilding Monday, May 20, 2013

    this is really cool. i uploaded the maximum of 300 pictures that flickr allowed a couple of years ago and never used it again. now i’m putting my whole library in one place for good.

  3. foxhousestudio Monday, May 20, 2013

    “No such thing as a professional photographer”, really?

  4. Terrible. Especially that quote. “there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore”. Right. And everyone thinks they are a CEO nowadays.

    How insulting.

    As someone that has been a Pro Flickr member for years and years, Pro members are getting the short end of the stick and basically being treated like Sh*t now. We have to pay double what we were paying now, JUST to disable ads? And If you want to upgrade to the larger file sizes, you’ll need to convert from a Flickr Pro to a free account? Wut?

    What a mess. They redesigned the face of Flickr, and in the process, screwed existing supporters in the rear end.

    Boooo to Marissa Mayer. Booooo.

    1. I agree with Sid here entirely, I feel a little betrayed. And that quote… I hope she’ll never say that again.

  5. “there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said

    wait, what? are you serious?

  6. “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said (though she acknowledged that there are “different skill levels”)

    – Wow. My heart sank when I read this. Can’t wait to share this with my fellow “professional photographer” friends. Or are they professional? Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, you’re clueless.


  7. negative reaction from Flickr users is running 99 to 1

    this is a serious mis-judgement of product and demographic

    that is your big-story

    1. I’m one of that 99%. I think that the change is awful, and I’m seriously looking at moving to another photo site.

  8. I’m incredibly disappointed with this change. I’ve had a Pro account for around six years, and feel betrayed by what is happening with Flickr. I am considering buying a new external hard drive and pulling all of my thousands of photos off of Flickr. Ridiculous.

  9. Amy Lehr Miller Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    I completely agree with Sid! I have to say, it took me good part of the day to decide, but it feels good to finally yank my artwork portfolio off of flickr, even though I am completely upset about this, simply because there is this flippant attitude about it. My artwork would be competing with ads, if someone wasn’t a paying customer. So unprofessional. I am glad I have a 2 week old (now useless title) Pro account to look back over and read, before telling my friends to find me at my new website. So glad I didn’t get 200 business cards printed up with flickr listed on them, because I was just about to! Happily moving forward.

  10. Arrogance abounds. A CEO of a photography website, but doesn’t know a thing about photography. A mayor, who thinks his citizens are all yahoos. Does anyone really need a CEO or a mayor any longer?

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