Yahoo own Flickr apparently?

What’s wrong with this picture?


I have always thought of Flickr as being ‘just Flickr’, with it’s own identity and brand. I’m vaguely aware whenever I do have to login afresh that it’s owned and run by Yahoo because we all had to get Yahoo usernames to use it at one point. But beyond that login (which only happens every so often as my cookies pick up previous logins on my machine) Flickr just is what it is – clean, neat, fun, functional.

Then this morning someone alerted me to the changed logo, adding ‘from Yahoo’.

  1. Did I really need to know this? Will I suddenly have an elevated position on Yahoo and their other products? Will I start using Yahoo for searches? Am I going to spend more time on the Yahoo site? No.
  2. I assume when Yahoo bought Flickr they bought up the people responsible too and just kept running it  the same way as before, as it should be. But seeing that logo there makes me nervous. Is that the only change or are they preparing us for something? 
  3. And last of all, it just looks plain ugly and clumsy. It’s just a piece of visual clutter tugging at your sleeve saying ‘Hey just in case you forgot, we’re responsible for this. You might have thought Yahoo was a bit outdated and uncool, but we’re not, we’re hip.’ In fact, the opposite. It shows just how dated the logo design is – in my mind it hasn’t changed since 2000 (in fact it did change last year ) and still seems to reinforce the idea that in the great search engine battles, along with Ask Jeeves, Excite, etc. they lost to Google. And the colour doesn’t match anything else on screen.

Interestingly, the only other place you see Yahoo branding on the home page at least is in the bottom right (see second image, above) , a tiny, much less obtrusive logo which uses the old red from last year. Oops.


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2 Responses to Yahoo own Flickr apparently?

  1. Alex says:

    Well put. What can we do? Maybe I should write to my local MP?

  2. Laurence Blume says:

    So many companies do this, Jerome. For me, a similar example (though one where ‘cool’ is less critical) was when Virgin media bought Telewest Blueyonder and rebranded that. Now Telewest had many faults, but at least it was a telco brand, and I felt I was buying telco services from a telco provider. Once Virgin took it over and began letting me know that I was buying telco services from an entertainment brand, I immediately had less confidence, psychologically, in what I was getting, and actually felt embarrassed about the possibility (not enforced) of having to switch to a home email address with the ‘virgin’ brandname in it.Back to Flickr. The answer, of course, is stockholders. It’s good for Yahho’s price to have managers and investors see their logo on all the things they own. The nuances of the relationships between online consumers and the online brands they trust is somewhat lost on these guys.

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