Strong opinions, weakly held

Merger pains for Flickr

It seems some Flickr users are rather enraged at Flickr merging its user database with Yahoo’s user database. There’s no question though that this was in the cards from the day the merger was announced. Flickr is a lot less valuable to Yahoo as a completely separate service than it is as an integrated piece of Yahoo’s suite of Web sites. That said, the migration has been handled poorly. I went ahead and integrated my Yahoo account with my Flickr account immediately since I have the same user name for both, and it means I have to keep track of one less password. Unfortunately, doing so has only been an inconvenience, mainly because it seems like I have to log in every single time I visit Flickr. Fortunately, the Flickr people have said that there’s a fix in the works for that problem.


  1. I agree that it could have been handled “better” — but I’m giving them slack based on a few things. First, not only did they get bought, but they moved all of their data and most of their employees. This alone was a huge task that took more time and resources than they really had at their disposal. I mean, it’s not like Yahoo just drops everything to help out the new kid. Then they had to try and roll out the new auth spec to deal with coming into the Yahoo fold.

    Also when I bought my account early on, when I had problems they were addressed and I was comped a free month here and there. When they did get bought they gave a ton of “goodies” to people who had purchased at twice the Yahoo price.

    It’s kind of funny how much we expect from companies and/or products we like.

  2. I broke my iPhoto export to Flickr by converting to my Yahoo login and they fixed it on Saturday night! That’s customer service, and I forgive them for a lot based on it.

  3. Rafe: I thought you weren’t in the “early adopters” crowd. 😉 My similar attitude to just wait a little and see what happens paid off in this case. I am still happily using my standard Flickr login (whose password I never need because I just stay logged in) and am waiting for things to settle down before I merge my accounts.

  4. I’m also still on the old flickr login. In fact, I hadn’t even really known there was an option to integrate the accounts, which I wouldn’t want to do, for the reason you mention that Yahoo seems to make you log into every page. It’s worse than eBay.

    Anyway, it all makes me very sad. I love Flickr, but I hate Yahoo. I was rooting for Google to buy them because I think Google has better vision and implementation and integration, and their products make me love them, just like Flickr. I use Google for everything portalish, and it burns me that Flickr was taken in by Yahoo.

    And then I think about the point that Pat brings up: why do I get so emotionally involved? I guess it’s because what Google and Yahoo do and buy affects my daily life quite a bit. That may say something bad about my life, but it’s pretty much true.

  5. I have always liked some things Yahoo provides. They were my favorite instant messaging provider before Google Talk came out. Yahoo Finance has always been good. Their recent improvements to their local sites have been impressive.

    They’ve also done some things that I really didn’t like. I was a major user of launch.com before Yahoo bought them and ruined the site. It’s gotten lots of its former features back, but seeing everything kind of torn down after the merger was disheartening. I don’t think they’ll make such big mistakes with Flickr.

  6. I deleted my flickr account. I do not appreciate Yahoo at all, and do not want a Yahoo ID. goodbye flickr, hello Shutterfly.com

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