Snapped – How Flickr lost its looks

There are some sobering lessons in this excellent Gizmodo article, How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.

Extracts that stood out for me:

  • It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn’t share its values.
  • Even early on, there were signs that the transplant—which had seemed so successful at first—was going to fail. That the DNA didn’t match
  • All Yahoo cared about was the database its users had built and tagged. It didn’t care about the community that had created it or (more importantly) continuing to grow that community by introducing new features
  • Because Flickr wasn’t as profitable as some of the other bigger properties, like Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Sports, it wasn’t given the resources that were dedicated to other products.
  • As a result of being resource-starved, Flickr quit planting the anchors it needed to climb ever higher. It missed the boat on local, on real time, on mobile, and even ultimately on social—the field it pioneered
  • Yahoo needed to leverage this thing that it had just bought. The first step in that is to create a unified login. That’s great for Yahoo, but it didn’t do anything for Flickr, and it certainly didn’t do anything for Flickr’s (extremely vocal) users.
  • If you want to see where it completely fucked up, turn on your phone and launch the Flickr app. Oh, what’s that, you don’t have one? Exactly

Most-read posts of 2010

The most popular posts on talkablelikeable in 2010, in exciting reverse order

10. The social web just got go-faster stripes
The introduction of easily-added ‘Like’ buttons to the web

9. A glimpse into the future of the web
Google and Arcade Fire’s fantastic demonstration of html5

8. Internet marketing – 1995 style
Superhighways and not so super haircuts

7. Rutger Hauer – The Man with the Guinness
Memories of that Guinness tv campaign

6. The birth of social TV
Real-time watercooler moments. Interesting, but hasn’t hurt Twitter at all

5. Mo’vellous
Terrific ad campaign for Movember

4. Should you buy an iPad? My experience so far…
Early thoughts on Apple’s new device. Reading it back seven months on, I pretty much still feel that way

3. If Carlsberg did action replays
Brilliant ad/spoof (and I still don’t know which)

2. If you type “Google” into Google, you break the internet
Originally posted in 2009, but still popular and still funny

1. Everything you ever needed to know about branding in 67 seconds
Almost annoyingly brilliant summation of branding from Steve Jobs.

Microsoft holds funeral for iPhone to promote Windows Mobile 7

Seriously??

For stunts like this to resonate and become positive social currency, they have to hit a nerve and contain a grain of truth. No-one believes Redmond will make a dent in the iPhone’s share. Microsoft’s biggest barrier to their usual mainstream OS play is of course Android, and that ain’t going under either.

Way to blow cash. Many brands would, ironically, kill for this kind of throwaway marketing budget. And do a lot more damage with it.