hello world. my name is Ryan Alexander Boyles. often, it's pronounced the RAB. i'm into declarative living. i am a connector. this is my life-stream / tumblr / blog. call it what you will. find my sxsw posts. any questions, ask me anything! btw, here is a standard disclaimer.
‘By the time we were looking at Flickr, Yahoo was getting the shit kicked out of it by Google. The race was on to find other areas of search where we could build a commanding lead,’ says one high ranking Yahoo executive familiar with the deal.
Flickr offered a way to do that. Because Flickr photos were tagged and labeled and categorized so efficiently by users, they were highly searchable.
‘That is the reason we bought Flickr—not the community. We didn’t give a shit about that. The theory behind buying Flickr was not to increase social connections, it was to monetize the image index. It was totally not about social communities or social networking. It was certainly nothing to do with the users’
But moreover, Yahoo needed to leverage this thing that it had just bought. Yahoo wanted to make sure that every one of its registered users could instantly use Flickr without having to register for it separately. It wanted Flickr to work seamlessly with Yahoo Mail. It wanted its services to sing together in harmony, rather than in cacophonous isolation. The first step in that is to create a unified login. That’s great for Yahoo, but it didn’t do anything for Flickr, and it certainly didn’t do anything for Flickr’s (extremely vocal) users.
Yahoo’s RegID solution turned out to be a nightmare for the existing community. You could no longer use your existing Flickr login to get to your photos, you had to use a Yahoo one. If you did not already have a Yahoo account, you had to create one. And you did not even log in on Flickr’s home page, upon arriving, you were immediately kicked over to a Yahoo login screen.
Although Flickr grew tremendously with the huge influx of Yahoo users, the existing community of highly influential early adopters was infuriated. It was an inelegant transition, and seemed to ignore what the community wanted (namely, a way to log in without having to sign up for a Yahoo account). This was the opposite of what people had come to expect from Flickr. It was anti-social.
And it very much delivered a message, to both users and to the team at Flickr: You’re part of Yahoo now.”