A better, brighter Flickr

The Flickr blog:

In the beginning, Flickr innovated the way people share and discover photos. Today, we are shifting the photo-sharing landscape again. We’re releasing a Flickr that’s more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere.

In a weird way, today’s Flickr announcement is the most encouraging sign possible that the Tumblr acquisition will turn out OK.

  • It’s striking how few tech companies have a flair for the moment. Said flair is hard to explain, but announcing the Flickr refresh today is a perfect example and is very un-Yahoo-like.
  • While the GeoCities comparison is fun as far as it goes, it’s the Flickr-precedent that should worry folks. Flickr had the seed of not just a photo-sharing service, but a true community, and Yahoo! completely neglected it until it all-but-died. Relaunching today sends an important signal that change is afoot.
  • The Flickr redesign was either just finished, or held until this day. It doesn’t matter which it is: finishing by today means internal teams are learning to execute; holding it is even more impressive. It shows that management understood what this announcement could mean (i.e. the previous two points), had the patience to sit tight, and the discipline to not leak (too much). Both bode well for Tumblr.

Then again, maybe I’m just swept up by the emotion of this absolutely pitch-perfect piece by Marco Arment on his personal history as Tumblr employee number one. Must-read.