Flickr Takes a Step Back to Offer Users a More Tangible Photo Experience

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Flickr, a pioneer in photo sharing, is taking a step backwards from its digital-only existence and introducing physical Flickr photo books, which consumers can create on the site. 

Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service languished as competition to be the repository of users’ online photos heated up with Facebook, Google+ and Dropbox entering the fray. “Flickr was once awesome,… now we want it to be awesome again,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said after assuming the role last year. 

Earlier this year, Mayer instituted a visual overhaul of the site, and now the addition of photo books will allow Flickr, which reaches 89 million people that have contributed over 8 billion photos, to better compete with multi-faceted platforms like Shutterfly. “We’re working hard to make Flickr great again,” Flickr VP Tom Hughes assured.[more]

Different from Facebook, Instagram and others, Flickr stores original-quality photos rather than shrinking images to make sharing quicker. Hughes believes people will choose Photo Books because it is easy to use. “The pain point in the market is really that it’s a time-consuming process,” he said, according to Fast Company. “There’s a really high drop-off rate once users begin the creation process of being a photo book.”

The 8.5″ x 11″ books cost $34.95 for 20 pages (Apple’s iPhoto books are $29), are printed on photo electric paper with a printed dust jacket, and ship in about a week. 

It’s an ironic turn about, for sure. Photography has reached unprecedented heights by putting sophisticated digital technology in consumers’ hands, and that revolution now returns to its analog roots of coffee table conversation pieces.

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