My note just below on the 45 million geotagged images of an estimate one billion(?) images now within Flickr caused me to pause a bit and consider what Microsoft might be after. Is their interest like a hostile take-over where selling off all the individual parts is far more valuable than the aggregated company or does Microsoft really see additional merit in Yahoo's "absorption"? If break-up value is the driving merit, who might want Flickr? As far as I tell there is no revenue model on Flickr? Would Google want billions of images? I understand Yahoo and Google have been talking about some sort of business model? Hmmm.... interesting?
One critic on the digitial imagery scene thinks Flickr might have a value far beyond its social-web merit. Seems to beleive that the pool of images might be linked to some sort of royalty payment for use? (Pay attention!) I cut out a couple of paragraphs that interested me... the ariticle offers some interesting insights on Flickr - read on.
Pulling the Flickr sword out of the Yahoo stone
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
In today's New York Times, this article talks about Yahoo's cutting of 1,000 jobs due to its dwindling revenue and profits. Jerry Yang has said that it will focus all its resources on three objectives: "becoming a starting point for consumers on the Web; making the company a top choice for marketers seeking to place ads on sites across the Web; and opening Yahoo's technology infrastructure to third-party programmers and publishers."
Yet, the article also had this very understated snippet: "the company has said it would de-emphasize or shut down a number of other services, including photos, podcasts and a largely unsuccessful social network."
The obvious question is, what does this mean for Flickr? But the answer is complicated by an obvious observation: Flickr is rarely ever mentioned in any news stories about Yahoo.....
In any event, the conversation went pretty simply: Flickr is really regarded as a completely autonomous tech group with no orders or objectives to do anything other than be a fun place for people to come and socialize about their photos. They have no financial responsibilities back to the mother ship, and Stewart is free to do whatever he wants with no long-term objectives. When I asked whether there was any plans to ever get into licensing or other forms of monetizing its content, he said that Stewart has thought about it, but they are enjoying what they're doing too much and such a move has dubious financial returns in a market already dominated by other very successful companies.