Not long now
I’m concerned about Flickr.
I’m concerned about Flickr because Yahoo! is going through a tumultuous time as a company. Last year it was speculated that Yahoo! would sell off its share in Alibaba to earn some dough while they continued to attempt to turn the company around. That quickly turned into rumors about Yahoo! splitting up its company into multiple companies (like Google did last year) in order to be more transparent about what is and isn’t working internally. Lately the rumors have been that their investors are asking them to sell the entire shabang.
Coincidentally Aol is said to be entertaining the idea of a complete rebrand/rename. Could this be the long-rumored merger happening? Yahoo! + Aol = Yahaol! If Aol merges with Yahoo! I’m willing to bet they’d come up with an equally painful name for the new company.
If Yahoo! is in trouble, Flickr is in trouble. Yahoo! has been a pretty good steward (though many would argue with me) for Flickr since its acquisition. The fact that the site is still up a decade or so later says something. A lot of what made Flickr great still remains. It has a great API (one that many in our industry cut our teeth on as programmers), it has an amazing Commons, and stunning photos are still posted there daily.
Will the next owner of Flickr think it an important place on the web or rather as a property that blurs their new vision?
I do not use Flickr that much anymore (here is my photostream) nor do I pay for an account. The free option works for me. I suppose no matter how this shakes out I do not have a good reason to complain. I guess I just think it will be a sad day when Flickr is either shutdown or sold off as I believe it is a bulwark of the web behind.