From Mark Zucker-borg to Flickr: “You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”
There are times when one must accept that they are defeated and salvage what they can by integrating with their bitter rival. Such seems to be the case for Flickr, who today announced that they will be allowing users to login or join using their Facebook ID. The end is near for their sovereignty and status as a unique Yahoo! product.
Facebook is their biggest competitor. They have gone from being a place to dump photos to being a place to share photos. Facebook may not do it better than them, but being the 8-billion-ton gorilla in the social media room, they can definitely do it more than Flickr. People want to share photos where their friends and family are. Some are on Flickr. All are on Facebook.
Not-So-Bold-Prediction: Yahoo! will sell Flickr to either Facebook (likely) or Google (longshot) by 2012. As a standalone product without the support of being an additional service to other neat features, Flickr cannot compete. This is the first step towards Flickr becoming little-more than an extremely popular app on Facebook or whatever Google cooks up this year.
It fills a couple of needs, particularly the Facebook-purchase scenario. Facebook may be where the people are, but their photo-sharing feature is average at best. It has amazing tagging features, but the resolution is weaker and the features are fewer. Flickr really does have a strong product, they just don’t have the eyeballs or members to compete with Facebook.
Combining the two makes sense for both.