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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.


13 Responses to “Users to Yahoo: Give Us the Old Flickr Back

    avatar Geoff Lord says:

    I just spent the last 30 minutes trying out the “new”Flickr and quite frankly feel quite disapointed. I expected somthing better from a supposedly “better experience” but feel that as it is at the moment the Old version was much easier to work with. I realise that these are early days and can only hope that things get better.

    Geoff Lord

    avatar You've no idea says:

    Ha! Your last paragraph is complete nonsense. They are not going to change back to the old format or give an opt-out. Based on previous experience they would have expected exactly this sort of response from what is a small minoority of its user. A small minority that will be replace quicklybu new users attracted by the new look of the site and the 1TB storage.

    avatar Ben says:

    Yes,,,Yahoo needs to react fast!! Or CEO Marissa Mayer needs to bury her head in the sand.

    avatar Jamia Kelly says:

    What everyone seems to be missing is that not only did Flickr screw up the design, but they doubled the price of a Pro account and without warning or consent set it up to automatically renew and deduct the money from your paypal or credit card with no notice. I only learned this by scrolling to the very end of comments trying to find a way to post to the forum. The design changes I could maybe live with or they could be fixed, but this in my opinion amounts to fraud. Some people are reporting they have already been dinged the new amount automatically even though their account was not due for renewal for many months. When I learned this, I immediately canceled my pro account and asked for a refund. I don’t do business with greedy con artists if I can help it.

    avatar Di says:

    The photos are indeed the focus of the redesign – to the detriment of the entire site. It is now bloatware – so many images, so crowded together that no one image can been seen and appreciated.
    There is not a museum out there that tries to fit their entire collection crammed onto one wall… whitespace matters. Images need to breath.
    And by cramming all the images “in your face”, the descriptive stories, critques and comments, links, geomapping, camera EXIF data – all the rich content that made you want to learn more and explore more is now completely hidden. The “social” has been completely removed, the richness buried.

    Flickr is reduced down to the vomit quality of a google images spew… only with less whitespace.

    But likely the biggest problem is the extreme slowness and high bandwidth usage this “new” look imposes… you now wait for 20 seconds or more for a page to load – indeed I often end up with a screen of just grey boxes as the images are simply too big to load with any kind of response time – and I’m on a DSL connection. Those without highspeed connectvity have had to walk away – they can’t even get into their own photostream.
    This removes it from the realm of educational use, and now has been removed from the iPad as the bandwidth consumption it too high.

    All this was done, without warning, to paying customers. Customers who have long standing paid usage – I’ve only been a payng customer for the past 5 years, so I’m relatively new there… many photographers have 8 or more years invested and thousands of hours.

    CEO Marissa Mayer has publicaly said that there are no professional photographers any more… that everyone just shoots and posts from their iPhone. That’s true enough for the 12 photos she’s managed to post in her Flickr stream, but not true for the long standing, serious camera users who carefully tagged and geo-located and enriched their EXIF data to share their learning with others.

    Flickr was a very indepth, valuable learning and sharing community.
    Now it is a shallow, vanity post – like instagram or Facebook.

    Too bad… and yes – many of us “guess-we’re-not-really-photographers” are moving on… we don’t mind paying for service – we’ve had paid PRO accounts for years. But we do expect service. The Flickr staff have not even bothered to respond to serious questions or notifications about truly broken features … and there were at least seven spelling errors in their preppy little “we so happy with our grand redesign” notice, so I suspect that accuracy and service have left the building.

    avatar Doug Campbell says:

    The NEW Flickr looks like a cross between Windows 8, and Facebook. (not in a good way)
    You’ve no idea says: “a small minoority of users”, but I disagree – both with his spelling and his assumption. If they keep this new format it will be nothing more than a photo/Facebook site.

    avatar heinrich stahlmeckr says:

    its terrible the large preview photos take ages to load .
    plus no option (as far as i can tell)to make them smaller
    it takes an eon to scroll down
    and if i wanted a bing like side scroll option id use bing!

    I guess it’s unlikely flickr is likely to change back. I was editing photos when it changed and thought I had pressed a wrong button. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to be able to choose the format you prefer. Personally hate the changes!

    avatar Viewminder says:

    If Marissa pulls this off she’ll be hailed as a genius!

    If she doesn’t…


    Marissa who?

    avatar Daniel says:

    @ Jennifer — The word you were looking for is “elicits”.

    Having said that — I think the new flickr design sucks as well. My photos are now crammed together, I cannot easily access view stats and comments, all pages scroll endlessly and take forever to load (especially over low-bandwidth connections).

    Thanks for the correction Daniel. I am my own editor and it can be easy to miss my mistakes!

    avatar matt says:

    this looks like it was designed by someone who hates photography.

    fix flickr!!!

    avatar Garry Clark says:

    Much prefer the older version!
    The new is to slow!

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