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May 21, 2013

Users to Yahoo: Give Us the Old Flickr Back

Flickr Redesign Elicits Massive Negative Response

It has been approximately 24 hours since Yahoo launched its much-updated version of Flickr in a bid to make the photo-sharing site “awesome again,” but users are already decrying the changes.

The update, which included 1 TB of free storage for all users as well as a redesign with larger images and the capability to upload full resolution photos, has been labeled “hideous,” “a confused mess of crap,” “big and shouty” and “awful” to name a few of the colorful adjectives listed on the site’s help forum.

CEO Marissa Mayer, who unveiled the changes Monday in New York, said the redesign placed the focus squarely on imagery.

“The look and feel here is about photos and being unbounded,” Mayer was quoted by CNet. “That’s what Flickr is about. Photos make the world go round. We want to make Flickr awesome again.”

Flickr on iPhone

Flickr on iPhone

Flickr staff member Thea Lamkin took to the site’s help forum to ask for user feedback.

“Egads! Such a lot of new stuff came out today, and we’re sure you’re itching to tell us what you think about it,” she said. “This is just the place for all of your questions, concerns, suggestions, and other non-bug related comments. Let’s keep all the feedback in one place and let everyone have a chance to be heard.”

Lamkin got her wish. Sort of. The forum is chock-full of feedback, but it is, largely, negative:

“My God flickr!!!! You have got to be kidding! This truly sucks! Are you trying to drive us all away?” asked user jackaloha2.

“Argh! Took me ages to get to the Help Forum because all those photos just kept loading and the link here kept leaping out of my grasp! Not good at all,” said user sohvimus. “It’s very, very, very IN YOUR FACE. (Yes, caps are necessary.) I prefer my Flickr homepage with the small icons where I can see many people’s new uploads at the same time rather than just one person’s latest upload smacking me in the face.”

“Change it back!!!!! I liked how it was!!! This is a big mess,” fantazma41 said. “I have been with Flickr a lot of years now….Change it back or I’m going to find a more “user-friendly” photo site to take my photos to!!! Flickr used to be the best of the best… it’s nothing but a big mess!”

“I’m the sort who is accustomed to change and usually enjoy it. I do not enjoy this,” user Edith Ogleby said. “I at least expect an option to be able to use flickr the old way. This is completely not viable for me the way I use Flickr. As a Pro user whose subscription is up soon, I will be watching how you address all of the comments coming your way as I search for a new photo host.”

It is likely Yahoo will either change back to the old format or offer users a way to opt-out of the update, given the number threats from users to take their photos elsewhere. Whatever Yahoo decides to do, it will need to do it quickly before there is a mass exodus from Flickr.