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Flickr responds to 'Dear Marissa Mayer' appeal with an appeal of its own

By dpreview staff on Jul 20, 2012 at 00:12 GMT

When Marissa Mayer was named new CEO of Yahoo recently, Los Angeles-based journalist Sean Bonner posted an appeal for her to 'please make flickr awesome again', signing it 'the Internet'. On his blog, Bonner commented that Flickr, was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, needs someone to 'put some support behind it, bring it up to date, give it an actually functional mobile app and commit to keeping it alive'. 

Sean Bonner's appeal to new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to 'please make Flickr awesome again' has been tweeted more than 20,000 times since he posted it on July 17th.

Claiming that 'it’s no secret that everyone blames Yahoo! for killing Flickr' Bonner created the appeal in the hope that '[Meyer] could be the one to breath life back into it'. His appeal went viral, and today Flickr - which by its own account hosts more than five billion digital images - posted a response, copying the style of Bonner's original open letter.

Addressed 'dear Internet', Flickr's reply invites users to 'come help us make Flickr awesomer' and contains a link to where interested potential applicants can find details of several open positions.

Flickr's tongue-in-cheek response to Bonner's appeal asks for help to 'make flickr awesomer' and provides a link to open positions at the photo-sharing site. 

Although it still has a massive user-base, Flickr has been challenged in recent years by a new wave of competitors including social networking sites like Facebook, which offer increasingly advanced photography-oriented features, and dedicated sharing apps such as Instagram (now also owned by Facebook). 

Are you a Flickr user? Are you satisfied, or do you think it needs to be made 'more awesome'? Or have you turned away from Flickr altogether, in favour of other photo-sharing sites? Let us know. 



Total comments: 156
Michael J Davis
By Michael J Davis (Jul 20, 2012)

I've been using Flickr for nearly 7 years with some 3400 photos on view. At first I enjoyed the friendly interplay between users, but I have been tired of the 'post 1 / award 5' mentality that increasingly seems to be trying to get scores.

I have sold photos from Flickr, and allowed specific Charities to use many others. The problem has been its popularity and the need to be everything to everybody.

But then I'm a *photographer* - who wants or is able to look at photos on an iPhone or smartphone?

And Flickr - with Flickriver and other extensions - IS pretty awsome!


By snapmatic (Jul 20, 2012)

New iPhone-App please!!

By Thauglor (Jul 20, 2012)

I ditched flickr in favor of a paired use between FB and a Zenfolio account. Flickr WAS really cool.... and it sort of slowly slid out of decent functionality.

They made it more difficult to share photos on other sites, by obscuring the link code, and making tiresome to select and copy the code... A major annoyance, that didn't make any sense.

The light box, has always been too small... the slideshow is glitchy... goes on and on.

Pro site, but it feels like it's run by a greedy amateur.

By AngryCorgi (Jul 20, 2012)

Obscuring the link code? They have HTML/BBCode pre-formatted linkage under the share button on every photo on my account (along with a drop-down of all resolutions available). I have no idea what you are talking about. It couldn't be anymore efficient than how it currently is, IMO.

By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jul 20, 2012)

I am perfectly satisfied with flickr right now. While I think it can be improved - uploading photos is now much faster than when I started using it, but still a pain when done through Olympus Viewer or DxO Optics Pro -, I don't think Facebook and apps like Instagram add anything to sharing photos. I'm a Facebook user and when I share photos there, I publish links to flickr, so they can be seen at the highest resolution possible (which Facebook doesn't provide). And then there's the copyright issue, flickr ensuring a level of protection that is completely absent from Facebook. The latter is for gossips, arranging dates and trivialities, not for sharing photographs made with an artistic purpose. Instagram, on the other hand, is what someone said elsewhere: just a fad.
And I really like the sarcasm of flickr's response to Sean Bonner! It could also be "don't ask flickr what it can do for you - ask yourself what you can do for flickr"...

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By thewhitehawk (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is nice, but the social aspect of the site is mediocre by modern standards.

If you don't care about that, it's a perfectly usable site and a good online storage solution, but right now I much prefer the look and feel of 500px.

The way you navigate a person's "collection" of photos in Flickr is mind-bogglingly-bad compared to 500px.

Don't take me wrong, my intent is not dishing Flickr, it is still the service where most of my photos are hosted, but right now it looks pale in comparison to the competition.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By Goodmeme (Jul 20, 2012)

I use Picasa (free). There's a third party plugin for Lightroom so I can export my photos to privately held urls, and share links with friends easily.

As for accessing my own photos from the cloud, I've decided to simply set up my own ftp site using filezilla (free), which after setting up a few shares, means I can now watch my recorded tv, listen to my music and even stream my (personally ripped and privately owned dvd, see anydvd (commercial) and handbrake (free)) movie collection from any laptop, desktop, tablet or android phone (see es file explorer for a free ftp client combine with mx player to stream media, also free).

Cloud? Who needs it?!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
By Biedermann (Jul 20, 2012)

I want to be able to sell my pictures from Flickr otherwise I may move to a site like SmugMug.

I also would like to be able to point my domain name to my photostream as an inexpensive way to have my own website.

That would be awesome for me.


Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
By taotoo (Jul 20, 2012)

Those guys at yahoo are CRAZY

By Septuagent2 (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is perfectly OK. And better than several others that I have tried.

By targut (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is awesome

..for me. I do not like the idea to make it awesomer. This is wrong. This is clear PR without any indication of readiness to do the real job.

New positions? Good. New ideas? I like the recent changes in Flickr very much. This shows readiness, really. But not such PRs that make people think that they are involved. We are already involved, but as users and customers, not as supporters. Flickr is part of our life but not the whole our life. Do not make us forget it.

They should think how to make Flickr better, easier, smarter. And when (and if) they do their lessons, we users will decide if it's still awesome or not.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
Geoffrey Kitt
By Geoffrey Kitt (Jul 20, 2012)

I do use Flickr - rather as a bulk repository for images of family and social events and motorsport photography.

I dislike the clunky user interface intensely and the presentation is pretty mediocre too.

I'm now making more use of Facebook for my social and family photography and Flickr doesn't come close to the (relative) ease of use and flexible presentation of pBase where I keep my public portfolio.

So, Flickr, you are being squeezed from both sides! I'm not sure if you can survive.

1 upvote
By WheelerDealer (Jul 20, 2012)

I'm with you on Facebook, Geoffrey, all it needs now is a decent slideshow program to make it perfect for my social and family photography needs.

By kitsap2 (Jul 20, 2012)

I'm a flickr user, I'm satisfied, and for the price, and what I want, it's a real bargain.

By yukonchris (Jul 20, 2012)

I prefer the focussed photo-centric character of Flickr, perhaps because I do most of my socializing face to face or through forums such as this, and use Flickr as a venue specifically to share and discuss the art of photography.

For photo-sharing, Flickr suits me far better than Facebook, where it feels like an add on of secondary importance to the pseudo socializing that defines it (my opinion), but as they say, whatever floats your boat...

By kff (Jul 20, 2012)

If we talk generally about technology then there is Google+ and potential all modules by Google like Picasa/Picnik etc. On the other hand we have the popularity which has Facebook and simplicity of sharing ... Flickr, Instagram etc. don't have these attributes and power to change it. I can imagine that Google and e.g.Nik Software or Adobe, Topaz Labs become partners or Google can buy it ...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
By DennisCh (Jul 20, 2012)

If "awesome" means emulating Facebook or Instagram, count me out, emphatically.

Certainly, Flickr could use improvement, to make the posting and viewing of photographs more intuitive, more flexible, easier to search, easier to format comments, better quality video, etc.

By comparison to Zenfolio for example (of which I'm also a member), Flickr has just enough social networking to support the photography. As the first commenter mentioned, the user community is large and active: Flickr is the place to go if you want your photos noticed by others with like interests.

Zenfolio's UI customization, on the other hand, is so obscure that I gave up on it after attempting to make an improvement, trashed what I'd done before and couldn't figure out how to fix it.

But anything that takes the focus away from the photography is no improvement. And all the image manipulation I want occurs before posting.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
By chlamchowder (Jul 20, 2012)

I don't see Facebook in its current state as a competitor to Flickr. Facebook image compression destroys detail while multiplying noise, EXIF info display is completely absent, and even the "high resolution" image hidden behind a download link does a poor job of preserving the original file's quality.

Facebook only deserves attention because the sharing part is easy. Other than that, Facebook completely fails to offer any photography oriented features.

By Valterj (Jul 20, 2012)

I'm a flickr user since 2005. For me is still the best photo sharing service in the world.

Facebook represents a threat to flickr because of junior photographers and other mobile users... but not for serious photographers!

By DenWil (Jul 20, 2012)

Photo sharing? Social features place on the web for families to share photos... lol. Delusional people are the most entertaining.

Type in "big breasts" in the search box or "bondage" - only 45,000 + results there.

Families sharing photos. Special.

Frank Stjerne
By Frank Stjerne (Jul 20, 2012)

This is the internet. Face it.

1 upvote
By Photomonkey (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is the compact camera to Facebook's smartphone.

Quality may be better but one stop shopping wins.

By artma (Jul 20, 2012)

Oh, the irony of the open positions listed: almost all engineers, not a single UI designer or brand awesomerer.

j land
By j land (Jul 20, 2012)


Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 20, 2012)

Thanx for that! brand awesomerer are mainly found on ship B and seldom brings anything of value to the world. Hmmmm ... I thought UI designers were engineers.

By Superka (Jul 20, 2012)

Let's make DPReview AWESOMER! Lens tests would be great! Nice forum would be superb!

By theoschela (Jul 20, 2012)

Lens reviews like the 'old days' (read: pre-amazon-ownership) instead of wasting the qualified reviewers time writing up obviously mediocre P&S's like the sx150...

Regarding Flickr - I'd use it more if exposting via Lightroom was more convenient & bbc code was quicker to get at on the flickr site...

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 20, 2012)

Both are in the pipeline - very very soon, actually. And if you check the byline, the SX150 was reviewed by an external contributor.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 20, 2012)

@theoschela - there were no lens tests pre-Amazon acquisition.

Your turn.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 20, 2012)

Thanx for clearing that out Barney. In my (volatile) memory I had the picture that before the acquisition there were few or no lens tests. ------ Hmmmm ... I am not sure how you do it --- but in my opinion lens tests needs special equipment for measuring lens performance. You cannot test lenses efficiently on digital cameras. The sensor resolution is generally too low. ---- A special lens lab needs to be built. IMHO.

unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is the best place on the web for families to share photos. It's about the photos and nothing else, and I hope they keep it the way it is.

By JudyH (Jul 20, 2012)

I have never liked the flickr presentation or functionality. Moving photos to other sets and arranging them is horrendous. I can't ever seem to get them shown in the order I want. It all seems very complicated compared to Zenfolio which is my main photo-sharing site. And it needs more customization. I hope someone will choose to improve it and then I'd use it more.

Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jul 20, 2012)

Agreed that moving photos isn't well thought out, and indeed, it needs improving in many ways, but I still prefer it to Facebook!

Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Jul 20, 2012)

Farcebook may be a giant competitor, but they still display most of the images in a pixelated and ugly mess, while some have a dislike to flikr's "sharpening of textures" pictures sure look nice there.

By BayToSierras (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is still awesome, especially for people who want to put more focus on their photography than social networking, and who aren't quite ready for a portfolio site. The idea of a linear photostream is still great, although I sometimes wish a bit more flexibility with that. Another thing I like is the reasonable price for pro membership. Most other services are either free or charge unaffordable fees. I wonder whether the future isn't in sites that offer a good value for a fair price. I know photography teachers, colleges and non-profits who use Flickr with great success. Unlike other parts of Yahoo!, flickr is fairly reliable, fast and has few bugs.

By theoschela (Jul 20, 2012)

"The idea of a linear photostream is still great, although I sometimes wish a bit more flexibility with that."

I'll 2nd and even 3rd that ;-)

Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jul 20, 2012)

theoschela wrote:

>"The idea of a linear photostream is still great, although I
> sometimes wish a bit more flexibility with that."

> I'll 2nd and even 3rd that ;-)

Agreed 100%!

By Infared (Jul 20, 2012)

I love Flickr! Don't use Macebook. Ego driven nonsense. Will never be a member.
As has been mentioned above...I would like to see the interface be more flexible. Instead of the emphasis being on photo stream I would like to have the option of having more of a landing page while keeping the stream but making it more of a sidebar.

By Superka (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr is just the best and number one. This is serious tool. not for mobile photographers.

By h2k (Jul 20, 2012)

I'm an 'old skool' member, paying Flickr even long before Yahoo arrived there. And, yes, after Yahoo the old Flickr spirit got lost. I don't think there's anybody at Yahoo who actually uses Flickr and is a photo enthusiast - she/he would easily note all the flaws in handling, presentation and such and do something about it. I also agree that the Flickr map is ridiculous.

Now, having multi-k photos there, it feels difficult to leave Flickr. And some aspects i like:
- i regularly get asked to sell photos, either via Getty or directly from customer
- i can see my "most interesting" and "most favorited" photos by popular demand
- i can easily e-mail links to a full-screen Flickr-hosted slide show of my "most interesting photos of Italian beaches" etc.
- searching photos with certain IPTC keywords (Flickr supports IPTC), Flickr delivers results much faster and more uncomplicated than my local image brower (and i can sort by "most interesting")

1 upvote
Lisa O
By Lisa O (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr needs better ideas and programmers. It still seems like a 2009 site. It needs to innovate. I still use it but wish it was better.

Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr certainly need to be made awesome again. As just a photo hosting, its not bad, but its feature and function to get those photo being used in a communicative context and the social aspect of the site is just plain awful

By jackpro (Jul 20, 2012)

Flickr mobile app/support sux big time, it would be cool if sets & collections could be downloaded. Also being able to lock & share to specific people would also be great!

By Dodge_Rock (Jul 20, 2012)

Flikr is the bomb. Make it more awesomer by adding photo editor that's more awesomer than photshop and add rocket fuel to the uploader...
Flikr is an excellent photo sharing site. I'm still in my 1st year of subscription, have added thousands of photos, but the real benefit is viewing other's pics, getting ideas & learning about various cameras.

Ralph Knutsen
By Ralph Knutsen (Jul 20, 2012)

The only good Flickr is the free Flickr. I doubt if anything will change.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Jul 20, 2012)

Anyone that thinks Marissa Mayer is going to do anything but preside over Yahoo's death spiral is a hopeless optimist. My guess is she's never heard of Flickr. I've been a Flickr user for many years, am paid up until 2016 or so, and am keeping my eyes open for credible long term alternatives.

Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jul 20, 2012)

To me, Flickr has never been anything but the absolute worst photo site on the net. The user interface is just insane. How anyone tolerates it is beyond me.

By steve_hoge (Jul 20, 2012)

It's the most full-featured photo site I've used, but yes, it could be awesomer...

1. Flickr's social features are good, but the help/forum/discussion system is v. weak, esp. when it comes to searching for specific content. (Ex: t's crazy I can't search for all my own posts - every freeware BBS system does it.)

2. Image quality is good, esp since they began respecting embedded ICC profiles. Movie support is half-hearted, limited to 90 sec and poorly cached. Last time I checked, it was the only major photo site that shows true full-SCREEN slideshows - most still play within a browser window.

3. Geotag support is required these days, but Flickr's actual maps have always sucked & still suck.

4. The Flickr API is awesome.

5. One of the biggest & most legit gripes is that your home page (the "Photostream" ) is ugly and strongly resists customization. Improving this (not just in bogus "My Yahoo" fashion) would probably be the biggest bang for development $$ that they could spend.

By Yamadude (Jul 20, 2012)

I am using Flickr since few months only and find it quite good but for sure it needs to be updated and ahould be kept at the cutting edge of what a photo sharing site is suppose to offer.

By kimvette (Jul 20, 2012)

I ♥ flickr as it exists already :)

Wendell Wagner
By Wendell Wagner (Jul 20, 2012)

I used to be a paid flickr user, but found that I wasn't getting value for my money, so I let my subscription lapse. I would happily engage again, if there were some improvements to mobile access, etc.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By CameraLabTester (Jul 20, 2012)

"You can't be SERIOUS!"

(J. McEnroe)


1 upvote
sean lancaster
By sean lancaster (Jul 20, 2012)

give me much more customization already!!!

1 upvote
By itchhh (Jul 20, 2012)

I have been on Flickr for several years now and must say that I like the site. No doubt there are areas for improvement, but all things considered they do a pretty good job for what I use the site for (free account).

Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (Jul 20, 2012)

I think they need to let those creative people loose and create an awsome photo sharing site. They shoud NOT listen to any comments until they are complete.

By Havanai (Jul 20, 2012)

It could use some convenience enhancements, but I don't think we need another social networking site. Of course, I'm 62 years old and what do I know? Is there a place in the Flickr site at which we can post suggestions/requests for features?

BTW, I would think that a Flickr the spelling would be awesomr.

Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Jul 20, 2012)

First, let us clarify that "awesomer" is not a word.
More importantly, leave it alone.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 20, 2012)

That did make my eyes itch a little, too...

By richardplondon (Jul 20, 2012)

I don't require a photo sharing website to be "awesome", "awesomer" or even "awesomest".

In truth NO amount of overwhelming feelings of confusion and inadequacy, is going to be much assistance when seeking somewhere to put your pictures on the internet.

I personally am far more interested in experiencing the searing and unignorable emotions of: "works OK", and "remains available much of the time".

By onlooker (Jul 20, 2012)

Again? When was it awesome first time? Absolutely horrid interface, busy, loud, it's good for anything BUT viewing photographs.

By Havanai (Jul 20, 2012)

What site, that gets viewing-traffic, is better for posting photographs?

By onlooker (Jul 20, 2012)

Pbase, without a doubt. Zenfolio is also better than Flickr, by far.

By meanwhile (Jul 20, 2012)

I find Pbase kind ugly and awkward to be honest.

By onlooker (Jul 20, 2012)

@meanwhile: Photo gallery site is not supposed to be a showcase for one's graphics design talents. It's supposed to just provide a frame for your photographs, with as little fuss and distraction as possible.

How is Pbase awkward? All you need to do while viewing photographs is to click on one. How more straightforward can it be? With Flickr its name is unfortunately accurate.

By TxCamFan (Jul 20, 2012)

I like it - it's still my favorite but yes, I would like it to be "awesomer."

Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Jul 20, 2012)

For $25 a year unlimited, I'm not going to bitch too hard. Navigating between photostream and sets could use some work, but I've gotten used to it.

Paul B Jones
By Paul B Jones (Jul 20, 2012)

I like flickr. Google searches seem easily able to find my photos there and a bunch of my images appear in the top five or so results. Okay it is images like "Hudson Bay Toad",' but still.

1 upvote
By arndsan (Jul 20, 2012)

it's simple and clear to navigate - I always try other sites when people suggesting them. Sometimes there are complicated or the people are too cool.
The fun with the active people at flick is the best.

1 upvote
By sir_bazz (Jul 20, 2012)

Never had a flickr account but I recall that when they went live that there was very little competition offering free web hosting for photography enthusiasts.

Nowadays we have an abundance of choice, (including this site here), and flickr no longer has it all it's own way. Good for us photographers to have much more choice....bad for those who want to stay loyal to flickr just for the sake of it.

Total comments: 156