In December of 2012, just six months after Marissa Mayer was hired as CEO of Yahoo, the company released version 2.0 of its Apple iPhone and iPad app for its photo-sharing site Flickr with bigger, crisper photos, a cleaner design, filters and easier sharing.
That was followed in May of 2013, at a splashy event in New York, with a redesign of its Flickr website and Android app and also an offer of one free terabyte of storage space to users. There were more big photos, better resolution, a snappier design and more.
“I think Flickr is awesome again with these new announcements,” Mayer said at the event, which came on the heels of Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr. “Photos make the world go around. Flickr was awesome once. It languished. But now it’s awesome again.”
Not awesome enough, it seems — according to numerous sources inside Yahoo, it is poised to unveil yet another new Flickr, essentially a redesign of its redesign, within the next few weeks.
I have seen screenshots of the newest Flickr — not to be confused with the new Flickr from last year — and it is yet another effort to slickify the offering, put sharing front and center and remove the dreaded Yahoo tool bar above the service.
It also more tightly coordinates the Web and mobile version, with what looks like a seamless photo stream and no white space.
There are scant words and buttons on the main page, just an indication of who your followers are and a few more pieces of info in a floating text.
Not like my current text-filled, button-crazy page here — where I have only uploaded one photo of Walt Mossberg since December of 2012. (What can I say, I am a fervent Instagrammer.)
Most of all, the page is about photos, photos, photos. Big pretty photos and hardly any text to speak of.
Sources inside the company said that the reason for the redo is the lack of pickup of the old new Flickr. While it leaped from No. 64 in photo and video (No. 705 overall) in the U.S. to No. 9 (No. 130 overall) on App Annie rankings, Flickr has since waned to No. 43 (No. 426 overall).
By contrast, Facebook-owned Instagram is now No. 2 in photo and video and No. 8 overall.
Flickr has also been revenue challenged, with about $25 million in annual sales. Still, Mayer has increased the staff from a few dozen to over 100.
This will not stand, apparently, which is why Mayer hired Bernardo Hernandez from Google — the pair worked together at the search giant — to take over Flickr.
The stylish product exec has been hard at work, it seems, trying to make Flickr the new, new thing.
I reached out to Yahoo PR, though it is like sending a signal out to possible alien life out there and hoping for a ping back.