Why Flickr didn't create Instagram

Wondering why Flickr didn't try to kickstart the Instagram-style social networking photo revolution years ago? It might have were its efforts not 'squashed relentlessly' internally. Unfortunately, Flickr is owned by Yahoo. [MG Siegler]


    1. Yeah, the sad thing is that’s not going to stop the execs from finding jobs elsewhere.

      “I ran Yahoo!”

      “Yahoo? Oh, I’ve heard of that. Rather large thing, what?”

  1. maybe when these new websites become useful that’s when Flickr will use them, but until then it’ll just be an annoyance to people who use Flickr

    1. Instagram is an iPhone app that allows you to take a photo that looks like a Polaroid Insta-Matic and then upload it to their site for smooth sharing. Very slick one-trick-pony.

      And I like it. But at the same time, I think any focus on Flickr needs to really question their development cycle in general. Their coding seems frozen in 1997 and while I like them a lot, they still have the rough edges of a “beta” for such a large entity.

      I hope Yahoo! develops them or at least sells them to someplace that can truly let them grow.

  2. Yahoo has always been where good ideas go to die. They killed All-Seeing Eye years back and they did the same to Konfabulator.

  3. Be patient, people. It was only a few months ago that they rolled out a new javascript interface that is like 5x slower.

  4. I can’t even do a simple search on my Yahoo mail these days. Yahoo is just a dirty word these days for dropping the ball.

  5. I love flickr and use it all the time but they’ve definitely got a lot of problems, and they did before Yahoo bought them, too. Yahoo did bring several problems of their own, and I’m sure their corporate culture is negatively affecting the work that goes on at flickr, but it’s not solely to blame.

    In regards to Instagram… how far do they really expect it to go with “no plans” (according to their FAQ) for an android version? Everything that’s really taken off in mobile has an android version these days, and if they didn’t to start, they quickly made one as their resources allowed it. I’d be interested in Instagram if they showed any interest at all in android, but they’re dismissing it at this point.

    The other one, picplz, has an android version. As far as I can tell the features of the two services are identical (these are really very simple apps, so I don’t see what the problem is). Here’s hoping that picplz “wins” (in as much as any one service can win) because they’re embracing android.

    Yet Instagram is getting most of the press – is it just because they have a better name?

    1. So the key to success is having an Android version? Does it need to be good or will any old app work? For an “any old app” reference, try out the Blackberry Flickr uploader.

  6. I think it’s more because they don’t have the resources to do an Android version. I’m sure they see the point. The app and site feel like two guys in a garage with a nice little project.

    Also, they need to fix their twitter integration. If you use “XAuth” as they claim to do, you don’t need to ask me for my password. You’re doing it wrong.

  7. They didn’t do it because large corporations cannot truly innovate.

    I’m sure there will be followups pointing out a couple of exceptions to this (Apple and Google come to mind), but for the vast majority, it holds true.

    The larger a corporation gets, the more risk-averse it becomes. Any new projects have to get vetted by so many layers of the bureaucracy, each of which has veto power, that it becomes difficult to do anything. This is especially true if the new project will compete with or detract from an existing product line.

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