About three weeks ago I wrote a blog post called ‘Is Flickr Dying?’, which was primarily a response to an article on Gizmodo called How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet. My summary was that Flickr is not in fact dead, but it is not in a good state.
So, three weeks on and I’m revisiting that assessment. Around the same time that I wrote that blog post, Flickr altered the layout of its photo pages to make the images bigger, especially on widescreen high-resolution monitors. Further improvements have come since, namely the new Uploadr which makes good use of HTML5 and presumably deprecates the desktop apps. Groups and Contact pages now show images in a flexible grid – rather than using square thumbnails, you can see images resized within their original proportions.
And now Flickr is hiring again, rather than letting off staff. 6 new engineering posts are available at its San Francisco office.
These are all very positive signs and it may be that Yahoo! is finally giving Flickr more resources to innovate. But key questions remain – is it too late to turn Flickr around? Can it re-ignite the community feel of the site? Can it turn its miserable mobile app into something that can rival Instagram? We shall see.