Yahoo should sell Flickr to Google21 Nov 2006
Brad Garlinghouse, a Yahoo senior vice president, has written an internal memo (that leaked, obviously) stating that it is about time for Yahoo! to bite the bullet and start reorganising/refocusing.
I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.
One of the issues he addresses is that they have internal competitors for a lot of services:
• YME vs. Musicmatch
• Flickr vs. Photos
• YMG video vs. Search video
• Deli.cio.us vs. myweb
Let’s focus on the picture hosting sites: Flickr is an early-adopters darling, while Yahoo Photos is vastly more popular, but (imho) ugly. One option could be to merge both brands, like Richard MacManus proposes:
My feeling though is that Flickr’s technology should be utilized more in Photos -i.e. why not re-brand Flickr as Photos. I can hear the gasps of horror from early adopter Flickr fans (of which I am one). But these are the kinds of hard decisions which Yahoo probably needs to make.
Yahoo could also try and re-brand Photos as Flickr, but that is a more risky proposition – and may I say, not Yahoo’s style.
What I think they should do, is to focus on their low-end, high-volume product, Yahoo! Photos. Yahoo! should put Flickr on the market. Google has the deepest pockets and only a photo hosting site (Picasaweb) that is not a community. Google should buy Flickr and integrate it with the Picasa desktop software. Yahoo would make a nice profit on the original $20mio they invested and would be able to focus on photos for the masses, Google would finally own the photo community that has lead the pack in adding relevant metadata to pictures and it would make me happy too. Why? Because it would make my life so easy.