Yahoo’s photo-sharing site Flickr is bleeding to death. Unique visits are down 16% year-over-year.The New York Times, which alerted the world to this downturn in a story this morning, blames Facebook.
Facebook not Flickr is where normal non-photographers “want to store and share more mundane snapshots.”
There’s something to that. As the Times points out, the number of people using Facebook photos is up 92% y/y.
But it’s not like Facebook is killing ALL the photo sites out there.
Some of the hottest startups right now are in the photos space. Instagram and Andreessen Horowitz investment PicPlz come to mind. Fashion-photo site Fashism is cranking along, too.
Of course, those startups are doing what Flickr isn’t: building around the mobile device. With each, you snap a photo with your iPhone or Android and upload it. Instagram doesn’t even really have a Web site.
Flickr compete ly missed the boat on mobile.
And you know who’s to blame for that?
In December, someone on Quora asked “Why Did Flickr Miss Out On The Mobile Opportunity Instagram Is Winning?”
Former Flickr engineer Kellan Elliott-McCrea answered, and said it came down to three things:
- Security. “We would have had to be willing to sacrifice our own login system in favour of Twitter’s (insecure) one. The Yahoo! Paranoids would have shut us down in a heart beat”
- Complacency. “We fell into the trap of thinking like an incumbent. We spent 6 months off and on talking to Twitter about preferred product placement rather then just shipping the integration we had built.”
- Mismanagement. “Marco Boerries was the without a doubt one of the most viciously political, and disliked Yahoo! execs and he…had universal control over all native mobile experiences within Yahoo.”
The really sad thing for Yahoo about the popularity of Instagram – it has millions of users already – is that the people who use the Instagram app seem to be very similar to the type of people who currently use Flickr.
How do we know?