Yahoo is revamping its languishing products and one of the main focus of investments is the photo-sharing service Flickr. CEO Marissa Mayer is reportedly making Flickr as the main priority for investment to hopefully make Yahoo relevant again in the Internet world.
Flickr service has been revived in iPhones last Tuesday with additional offering of retro-style filters to uploaded pictures and a feature to allow them to be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
The move is the first major upgrade to the service running on mobiles for the last two years, leaving Instagram to dominate the photo-sharing sphere in social networking. Instagram’s user base has exponentially grew to 100 million.
As an active Instagram user herself, Mayer has, after occupying the top position on Yahoo, fast tracked the development of Flickr. She took over the position as chief executive in july and she promised to turn the fortunes around of Yahoo by making it more mobile-friendly. The number of people working on Flickr has since then doubled at the firm’s main headquarters in San Francisco since Mayer accelerated its development.
Flickr’s iPhone version has many similarities to Facebook-acquired Instagram like the feature to add filters, subscribe to updates from friends, and browse the most popular Flickr photos. iOS users had been complaining about the need for more functionality of Flickr on its earlier versions as Yahoo focused more on updating the Flickr Android app instead.
Flickr’s head of product marketing for Europe, Jennifer Davies, said: “It’s huge for Flickr. There are a couple of things really important for Yahoo and one is focusing on our users’ daily habits, and photography is one of those things.”
“Supporting our core products on mobile is an important goal as well. With the launch of this app we hope to optimize the rich functionality of Flickr on desktop on the mobile. It’s been a core focus since Marissa’s been here, ” she added.
The revival of Flickr suggests that she listened to the clamor from Flickr users that welcomed her when she was appointed CEO. There were many high-profile Flickr users, journalists, and entrepreneurs who propagated the Twitter hashtag #dearmarissamayer together with a dedicated website saying “Dear Marissa Mayer, please make Flickr awesome again”
The new Flickr app on iPhones was launched a day after Twitter introduced its own Instagram-style artistic filters. The new feature in Twitter was launched after Instagram ceased its integration with Twitter, which now prevent users from viewing photos in Twitter messages.
Flickr was acquired by Yahoo for 25 million in March 2005 but has since then remained insignificant even when Facebook, Instagram, and Google were becoming wildly popular platforms to share photos online.
Mayer’s arrival as CEO happens when the company is struggling mightily against effective rivals. Yahoo has seen its advertising shares being taken away be newcomers and its heads trying their best to make the company a dominant force in the Web again.