Yahoo is making big moves across the board. On the heels of the billion-dollar Tumblr acquisition, Yahoo is beefing up storage
on Flickr, its photo-sharing service, to 1 terabyte.
The idea is to allow users to share images in full resolution. With a terabyte, you could upload a photo every hour for 40 years and not use up all the space.
Yahoo is also offering a new design for Flickr that puts photos at the heart of the experience. A new Activity Feed combines friends' recent uploads with activity on your photos. The goal is to drive more on-page interaction.
"We completely rebuilt the photo stream to show off your photos in a seamless layout, and gave you room to express yourself with a customizable cover photo and high-res profile picture," said Flickr's Markus Spiering. "Our new photo experience displays images in as many pixels as possible, with all the context you need to easily chime in on the conversation around every image."
A Big Statement
Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said 1 terabyte is a big statement by Flickr, a bold attempt to get attention and reach new audiences. Flickr competes with several Web alternatives, including Google's Picasa, which increasingly is being integrated into Google+.
"The site has always been used by professional and amateur photographers but Yahoo is now trying to go after a much larger user base with the UI and storage changes," Sterling told us. By contrast, Google's Picasa Web Albums offer 1 GB of free storage for photos and videos.
The free upgrade also marks the ability to upload more video -- and longer video. Flickr now supports up to a full three minutes per video of 1080p HD quality.
Yahoo's Big Opportunity
On Monday, Yahoo pledged not to "screw up" Tumblr when it announced acquisition of the hip blogging service for $1.1 billion. Yahoo has agreed to allow Tumblr to operate independently as a separate business. Tumblr CEO David Karp will remain at the helm. Yahoo also said the product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with "the same Tumblr irreverence, wit and commitment to empower creators."
Sterling said Tumblr is also a huge bet. He called it an attempt to buy page views and new audiences. Tumblr boasts more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 sign-ups every day. That makes it one of the fastest-growing media networks in the world. What's more, Tumblr sees 900 posts per second and users spend 24 billion minutes on the site each month. Tumblr also has a strong mobile play. More than half of Tumblr's subscribers use the mobile app, with an average seven sessions per day.
Sterling said it could pay off if Yahoo executes smartly.
"The analogy here is YouTube. If Yahoo can manage Tumblr as Google has managed YouTube, it will pay off for the company," he said. "But it will be challenging, especially as Tumblr begins to roll out more ad units and types."