So Yahoo! bought Flickr. Firstly mega-congratulations to the people bhind Flickr. This is the sort of thing that all of us with a vague ability to write code dream about: build something that the big guys come and buy for lots of cashmoney. Secondly, I’m starting to get interested in Yahoo! for a couple of reasons.
Reason one: Some of the comments from the Flickr team are quite interesting:
When Yahoo first approached us eons ago, we were pretty skeptical. But after meeting the people on the Yahoo team and getting a picture of where they were going, we got religion. Maybe that’s too strong. We realized we were all eating at the same church potluck.
The same sort of sentiment was expressed by the Oddpost team when they were acquired by Yahoo!
Reason the second: there is a uncanny coherence in Yahoo!’s (psycho grammar?) aquisitions. Oddpost and Flickr are both very nifty web apps that reveal almost desktop-like behaviour and performance. In comparison, Google’s GMail and Picasa are ugly ducklings. GMail is nice, but it seems like more of an experiment in web UI, rather than a simply functional client. I’ll get a few flames from the GMail fanboys, but seriously, would you rather ask your mother to use GMail, or Oddpost’s outlook-alike interface? Picasa is a desktop app. Sure it can upload images via Hello, but it’s a desktop app.
Here’s what I’m thinking: Yahoo! can plug together a very slick web interface using Oddpost’s outlook-style interface, with folders for search (Yahoo!), mail (Oddpost), images (Flickr), RSS (Oddpost again), and other stuff (blogs, tags, etc). I’d wager they could throw this thing together faster and better than Google could do something similar, if only because Google don’t currently have a fully online Picasa.