Vancouver, B.C.-based Ludicorp's Flickr is an online photo management cum social networking Web site that uses digital photos as the glue that binds users together. Earlier this week, Yahoo bought the photo-sharing Web site a move confirmed by the service’s co-founder Caterina Fake. As you might imagine, this has created quite a stir among the Flickr faithful.
Fake assured Flickr members that the service “will be continuing on the path it’s on,” with the same management and the same team, but many Mac-using Flickr users have voiced doubts, accustomed as they are to shoddy treatment from Yahoo in the past.
I’m a bit disappointed by the Yahoo purchase, because as unlikely as I know it was to happen, I secretly hoped that Apple would make a play for Flickr. Flickr’s the perfect add-on for iPhoto and .Mac—a way of getting other folks as enthusiastic about your photos as you are, whether it’s sharing pictures of your kids’ birthday parties, your cat, your trip to the French Riviera or your shiny new iPod shuffle.
But just because Yahoo bought Flickr doesn’t mean the fine third-party support for iPhoto will stop, and it doesn’t mean that Apple couldn’t potentially recreate some of that functionality in .Mac if it wanted to.
The good news is that Ludicorp gets a much-needed injection of capital and the protection of a huge player in the Internet service business. Now Ludicorp can stay focused on getting Flickr out of beta and into the hands of a much broader audience. Hopefully the move won’t alienate the existing fans of the service—in fact, if Fake’s comments are any indication, early adopters should see some rewards heading their way soon.