There's rumors on the Internets
March 20, 2005 1:31 PM   Subscribe

...The rumors are true. Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr & Ludicorp. What does this mean? Well, Flickr will continue to be a seperate entity, but Yahoo! Photos will be getting those shiny Flickr geegaws. AND "Pro account holders will get super mega bonuses, to be announced soon." (i can't wait!) The Flickr community's reactions seem positive.
posted by keswick (54 comments total)
I'll be interesting to see if there's some integration between Flickr and Yahoo 360°.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:37 PM on March 20, 2005

Yahoo Photos and Flickr have different kinds of users with different needs, and will remain separate for the foreseeable future. Flickr would also suffer from a sudden deluge of LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg! so we're going to grow it carefully.

Gotta keep 'em separated...
posted by fixedgear at 1:50 PM on March 20, 2005

Free accounts will have more storage and uploads

Sweet. The 10MB monthly upload is reasonable, but the 100 photo limit is a bit harsh. Nice to know we starving non-Pro members get thrown a bone.
posted by Galvatron at 1:55 PM on March 20, 2005

Good for them. That comment thread is painful to read.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:55 PM on March 20, 2005

I didn't see any info on how much $$$ was involved. Any ideas?
posted by tomplus2 at 2:43 PM on March 20, 2005

So why am I suddenly filled with apprehension?
posted by Ryvar at 2:57 PM on March 20, 2005

Why do they need to use Flash to display static images? It's so frustrating. The crappy Linux plugin (from Macromedia) basically kills my browser when I look at a flickr gallery for more than about 30 seconds... Argh!
posted by knave at 2:58 PM on March 20, 2005

It is useful in reducing unlawful reproduction of images.
posted by keswick at 3:12 PM on March 20, 2005

Game Neverending is fucked.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:23 PM on March 20, 2005

I knew it when I made this joke image! I knew it would come true.
posted by mathowie at 3:26 PM on March 20, 2005

knave: are you using flash 7? It seems to have better Linux performance than flash 6.

keswick: is that a joke? Flickr is hardly about protection of content. The main reason for flash would seem to be the annotation features, which could arguably be done with DHTML or even CSS... but them's the breaks.
posted by Galvatron at 3:33 PM on March 20, 2005

Yeah, flickr's use of flash to show static images always bugged me too. Now that I think about it.
posted by delmoi at 3:42 PM on March 20, 2005

Galvatron: I don't see how you can say that. Sure, they have the option of selecting a Creative Commons license, but you don't have license your photos under it.

There's no way to save a photo unless you expressly allow it, other than a screengrab. Unless there's something I'm missing?
posted by keswick at 3:44 PM on March 20, 2005

Yeah, that was what I was thinking, Pretty_Generic.

It'll be interesting to see how the integration proceeds on both sides of the equation and how these changes will affect Flickr itself. Whatever happens, the Ludicorpers are a great group of people, and it's nice to know they don't have to draw straws for paychecks any longer.
posted by Aster at 3:47 PM on March 20, 2005

keswick: Just off the top of my head, (1) if you don't have a flash plugin, you get an ordinary JPEG, and (2) if you click on "all sizes" you get JPEGs. (For (2), I think you have to be logged in.) I haven't played around with it, but I'm sure the Flickr API would give you another way to grab the raw photos.

They're not making any effort to protect the content, aside from posting the license.
posted by Galvatron at 3:53 PM on March 20, 2005

(2) only works if you explicitly downloads.

thanks for pointing out (1) though.
posted by keswick at 3:57 PM on March 20, 2005

Good point about the downloads. I wonder whether the API respects that restriction?
posted by Galvatron at 4:04 PM on March 20, 2005

By acquiring the new-wave '00s site Flickr, Yahoo earns some of the cred that Google's been shedding. We might see Yahoo become the next Google as far as hip brand identity -- ironic, as Google was the next Yahoo.

This would be a sea change, as Yahoo had increasingly captured a more and more general market. Flickr integration may bring a flood of early-adapter users into the fold again. Or, as noted above, more LOLs to Flickr.
posted by NickDouglas at 4:24 PM on March 20, 2005

I hope they do something about the large volume of new users who upload photos without tags.
posted by rzklkng at 4:24 PM on March 20, 2005

Good luck to them. I hope I don't grow to regret paying for Pro membership...
posted by mkultra at 4:36 PM on March 20, 2005

I second mukultra's sentiments. Had I known that greater storage space for free users was around the corner, I wouldn't have shelled out for it. Ah well. Let's see what these mega bonuses are all about...
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:48 PM on March 20, 2005

My only complaint with Flickr is that the site seems really slow. I have hopes that this will be fixed. And that Flash-image thing. Does this mean the rumored deal between Flickr and red-hot-anal-sluts is dead?
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:50 PM on March 20, 2005

You can grab a JPEG of any Flickr photo with a Creative Commons license by clicking the "different sizes" link on the photo page.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:06 PM on March 20, 2005

My only complaint with Flickr is that the site seems really slow.

Even when I'm on a fast connection and every website is loading with no delay, flickr can be slow as hell. If they could fix that I might become a pro member, but not until then. Now that yahoo has bought them I'm glad I waited (so I can see where this all goes).
posted by justgary at 5:07 PM on March 20, 2005

I was reading a wired article about yahoo (linked to in the flickr central thread) and though it may seem cynical I couldn't help but think, "we're good at medorcrity but great at customer service!" meh ... It's great Stewart and Catrina got something out of this but ... guess only time will tell.

(For (2), I think you have to be logged in.)

Galvatron: You don't have to be logged in the get the various sizes from a users photo stream. If the photo has "all rights reserved" then you need to be logged in to see that option.

I wonder whether the API respects that restriction?

I think there is something in place because jbum who makes a lot of the cool toys using the flickr API was creating graphs for the squared circle project showing the various CC licensing types for that group.
posted by squeak at 5:20 PM on March 20, 2005

Chill out folks, Yahoo's handling of Geocities way back when should put everyone at ease.
posted by alan at 5:27 PM on March 20, 2005

That's harsh.

I'm going to curl up in a ball and wimper now.
posted by keswick at 5:37 PM on March 20, 2005

Well kudos and best of luck to Ludicorp.

I hate to say it, but here come the ads. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but soon. How long do you really think Yahoo will be able to resist with their new contextual ad program? They don't even disclaim it in the blog post.
posted by ontic at 5:48 PM on March 20, 2005

p_g- Game Neverending has been officially dead for ages now. I got a free pro account out of that fact.
posted by amandaudoff at 5:50 PM on March 20, 2005

yeah but look at the clientle alan ...

*tongue in firmly in cheek*
posted by squeak at 5:55 PM on March 20, 2005

Man GNE was so freakin' cool, back in the day. I played that for a while back in like, second beta, I think.
posted by graventy at 6:09 PM on March 20, 2005

Am I the only one thinking that it's starting to look like the dot-com boom all over again?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:17 PM on March 20, 2005

fff: No.
posted by amandaudoff at 6:18 PM on March 20, 2005

If so, I'm cashing in this time.
posted by keswick at 6:43 PM on March 20, 2005

Sell flickr to yahoo and BRING BACK GNE!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:57 PM on March 20, 2005

Go to Your Account.
Click Allowing Downloads.
Select who can download all sizes of your images.
posted by artifarce at 7:39 PM on March 20, 2005

And I'm curious about the "super mega bonuses" for pro accounts.
posted by artifarce at 7:42 PM on March 20, 2005

Not to derail, but yeah, remember when you could make a MetaFilter with a lickable Mathowie, a Web, and a bottle of Porkmuncher Gin? ;)
A MetaFilter is the kind of thing you can read:
- effect on subject: mood +40 "It makes an hour seem like a minute."
- effect on subject: karma -50 "You're wasting your life!"
I think that this move will push GNE even farther into the backburner, if it doesn't extinguish it completely. The best part of it was the community (equal parts intelligent and kind) that emerged within the grounds of the game (equal parts cute and witty).

The question is, does it follow that when Yahoo! acquires LudiCorp, they acquire GNE as well? Can/will LudiCorp sell the rights to GNE to an independent developer?
posted by Lush at 7:43 PM on March 20, 2005

I wonder if this is why I haven't been able to get to Flickr all weekend.
posted by me3dia at 7:58 PM on March 20, 2005

To be honest, I think GNE was a little too surreal to scale well. I was never sure what would fuel large scale gameplay other than obsessive-compulsion, as I felt the alpha and beta play were both powered by that small testing group's rather unique social dynamic.

That said, I really miss my house in Fierov Heights. Especially the little tower.
posted by Mercaptan at 8:15 PM on March 20, 2005

Nostalgia begins today.

"Yeah... I remember Flickr. Before those Yahoo a$$holes moved in. Fuck. It was a great idea. Really it was..."
posted by airguitar at 10:43 PM on March 20, 2005

Me loves flikr.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:38 AM on March 21, 2005

Game Neverending is being put up on blocks indefinitely. Flickr, Ludicorp's online community and photo sharing site, is on fire, and as a small company we don't have the resources to build both simultaneously. And so, we have to shut Game Neverending down. We love Game Neverending and wish we could do both, but it has been a struggle.
Seems pretty cut and dried, but that was before this, so who knows?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:30 AM on March 21, 2005

I thought Game Neverending was/is a multiplayer online universe. Sony seem to be enjoying some success with Everquest, and there's World of Warcraft Online. Surely this kind of gaming would be a decent thing in Yahoo!'s repertoire. It's all revenue streams and 13 Billion Q-tips, right?
posted by gsb at 4:00 AM on March 21, 2005

GNE is dead.

Flickr was never all that compelling for me. During early testing, it was a nice way to hang out with GNE playtesters, who were largely a wonderful bunch of people, but the Flickr service itself didn't really do much for me. It was neat to play with the socnet toys, and the photo chat tool was... interesting... but I lost interest pretty quickly. These days I hardly look at Flickr, maybe once a month to dump a couple of photos on it.

Like The Honorable, much of the attraction of GNE to me was the small town feel of the test. I never really got how it was supposed to be gigantic, profitable, and yet remain fun. The GNE tests were so lovingly handcrafted and freeform, barely even a game at all (not counting the hextile-based thing they were toying with just before they shut it down -- I strongly disliked the intensive ladder-based gameplay).

"I hope they do something about the large volume of new users who upload photos without tags."

I'm an ancient user and I don't really use tags beyond fiddling with them once in a while. I fail to see the point. Tags seem like a tool for pick-me, pick-me! publishing visibility of your photos to a largely anonymous group of people, and I don't care if strangers stumble across what I upload.

I'll continue to ignore Flickr's tags, thank you.
posted by majick at 7:47 AM on March 21, 2005

I think it's incredible how optimistic the Flickr folks are, given past history. But I guess they get paid so they're happy.
posted by smackfu at 7:48 AM on March 21, 2005

Our optimism is due to the many meetings we've had with Yahoo!, who have learned from their past acquisition errors, and have convinced us they want to do the right thing with Flickr, which is to let us continue to build it out to version 1 as we've always planned, which means making it even better (with a whole lot more resources now to help us out). And Yahoo! is changing, for real, and in very good ways. That's why they wanted us in the first place. It's not like Flickr is the biggest, most profitable photo sharing site out there; they like what we've done with Flickr, how we've approached the UI, technology, and community building challenges (all challenges that Yahoo! itself faces) and they wanted the Flickr team to help them move all of Yahoo! forward in the same direction. I was very skeptical of Yahoo!, so I understand that sentiment, but we've been convinced that Yahoo! "gets" Flickr, and I am very excited to get the chance to help Yahoo! be better.

(And we use Flash for image display because it allows us to do things with the "rotate" preview and "notes" adding/editing that would be 100 times harder in DHTML, not to make it harder to download photos. :)
posted by ericost at 8:44 AM on March 21, 2005

Note the use of Yahoo! instead of just Yahoo in ericost's post above. Clearly they're already drinking the kool-aid ;-)
posted by crawl at 9:16 AM on March 21, 2005

I played the GNE too, way back in beta, and was enchanted by it. I wish I'd stuck around now for the second phase, 'cause I'd always sort of thought it would be there when I had time to enter that world again. You think I would have learned by now never take things for granted, especially on the web.

Remember what would happen when you made a New Economy? Good times, good times.

But congratulations and all the best to Stewart and Caterina and the rest of Ludicorp.
posted by jokeefe at 9:42 AM on March 21, 2005

this seems like an opportune moment to ask: what's the deal with Flickr, anyway? So you stick your pictures into it; why is that so exciting? I don't get it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:52 AM on March 21, 2005

I really hope that they keep it the way it is.

Mars: For some reason, Flickr accounts for nearly 30% of my online slacking lately. Sure, you just share photos, but there's a lot of really good photographers on there, and it's very easy to navigate around and see people's photos, their contacts' photos, the photos in photo pools that they belong to, etc. The tagging system is awesome, and you can subscribe to any number of feeds, say, for a person's photos, your contacts, a tag (say, grafitti, or kittens, or pancakes), and you can leave notes on images and comments.

It took me a minute to get into it, but when I did, I was glad. I even started dating someone I met through Flickr.
posted by adampsyche at 10:11 AM on March 21, 2005

The tags are mainly why I use flickr. I have around 3000 photos from over the years, and could never find anything when/where/how I wanted it. Now I can login from any PC with a web browser, type in a key word and VOILA! Pretty cool.
posted by gregariousrecluse at 1:40 PM on March 21, 2005

*crosses fingers for Flickr*
posted by DakotaPaul at 3:29 PM on March 21, 2005

I too love Flickr, but being on holiday at my mom's place has made me realize one thing:

Flickr is impossibly slow on dialup.

But then again, so is everything else.
posted by LondonYank at 3:50 PM on March 22, 2005

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