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January 31, 2011

Flickr Sell off Rumors By Yahoo

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Speculation in technology circles that Yahoo might close or sell Flickr, its photo-sharing service, prompted an emphatic denial this month.

Yahoo's product chief, Blake Irving Tweeted: "Q. Is Yahoo! committed to Flickr? A. Hell yes we are! We love this product and team; on strategy and profitable."

The confusion over Flickr’s future was perhaps understandable. Yahoo had just recently disclosed plans to shut down or otherwise dispose of several other Web products, including the bookmarking service Delicious, and some users feared Flickr would be next. 

A pioneer in combining photos with social networking features, Flickr is facing a stiff challenge from newer services. In addition to fighting rumors, it is having to work hard to keep its users returning as Facebook widens its lead as the popular destination for sharing party, vacation and family snapshots. 
As  Facebook  continues to boost its photographic services by letting users share bigger, high resolution images, adding a photo viewer and ability to tag keywords and multiple photos.
Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, told The NY Times that Facebook's appeal lies in the fact that many of its users visit the main website daily, which they do not with other photo website, such as Flickr.
"The Internet is starting to rotate around the axis of Facebook - not everything, but everything social. Yahoo and Flickr don't really have the gravitational pull that would make Flickr the axis that they once imagined," he reportedly said.

Although Flickr is well known and still widely used, its traffic is shrinking. Unique visitors to Flickr in the United States fell 16 percent, to 21.3 million, in December compared with a year earlier, according to comScore. Meanwhile, for that same time frame, use of Facebook’s photo features grew 92 percent, to 123.9 million users.  ( source : )