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Flickr Turns 10!

Ajit Deshpande - - 0 Comments

Photo-sharing site Flickr last week celebrated its 10th anniversary. Acquired by Yahoo in 2005 for 35 million, Flickr currently has 92 million users across 63 countries that between them share a million photos per day. More than 6 billion photos had been uploaded to Flickr by mid-2011, indicating that likely approximately 7 billion photos have been uploaded so far.

The past decade has seen significant evolution in this space, from image repositories to private image sharing groups to mobile social sharing communities. Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket and Shutterfly, as well as many other upstarts, have all been jostling for consumer attention over this timeframe. A lot has been said about Yahoo’s role in Flickr’s evolution over this decade. On the whole, Flickr has done reasonably well, yet the product has been clearly negatively impacted by the social and mobile wave. It took just more than a year (between 2010 and 2011) for a billion images to be uploaded to Flickr, whereas their current upload runrate of 1 million a day is far slower. Further, Flickr is already dwarfed by two-year old Instagram’s 150 million users and 16 billion uploads.

So, here we are today: mobile device adoption resulting in exponential growth in image data, storage constraints creating silos of content across multiple devices for the user, and multiple social-sharing communities causing further fragmentation of consumer-owned content. Now that the key platforms have emerged, the need of the hour might be for an aggregator to bring all these together: one that might be able to sync images and track friend-lists across a user’s various image platforms, one that could potentially consolidate storage capacities across these platforms, one that could help a user seamlessly share albums and images across various public or private lists. Efforts are underway on this front, at Opus portfolio company Eye-Fi , at Lyve (Seagate funded startup set up by Apple alums) and at other firms. We have now moved on from physical prints to digital memories, so here’s hoping that we are able to manage these digital memories and revisit them over coming decades.

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