May 27, 2012
Matt Honan in How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet at Gizmodo says that until three years ago Flickr was the best photo sharing service in the world. Nothing else could touch it. If you cared about digital photography, or wanted to share photos with friends, you were on Flickr.
That was my judgement when I joined Flickr. However, Honan says that today:
The photo service that was once poised to take on the the world has now become an afterthought. Want to share photos on the Web? That's what Facebook is for. Want to look at the pictures your friends are snapping on the go? Fire up Instagram.Even the notion of Flickr as an archive—as the place where you store all your photos as a backup—is becoming increasingly quaint as Dropbox, Microsoft, Google, Box.net, Amazon, Apple, and a host of others scramble to serve online gigs to our hungry desktops.
The site that once had the best social tools, the most vibrant userbase, and toppest-notch storage is rapidly passing into the irrelevance of abandonment. Its once bustling community now feels like an exurban neighborhood rocked by a housing crisis. Yards gone to seed. Rusting bikes in the front yard. Tattered flags. At address, after address, after address, no one is home.
Today Flickr is under attack from Facebook and Instagram. Honan adds that:
Flickr's mobile and social failures are ultimately both symptoms of the same problem: a big company trying to reinvent itself by gobbling up smaller ones, and then wasting what it has. The story of Flickr is not that dissimilar to the story of Google's buyout of Dodgeball, or Aol's purchase of Brizzly. ....As a result, Flickr today is a very different site than it was five years ago. It's an Internet backwater. It's not socially appealing.
Yahoo strangled it for resources, and today Flickr is an archive of nostalgia that you love dearly, on the rare occasion you stumble across it.
My own understanding is that Flickr is becoming, or has become, a niche place where people who take photography more seriously go. I have started to use Flickr more for samples and for creative sharing.