Back in November 2018, Flickr announced that it was going to ditch the mandatory Yahoo login system. And now it’s finally happening. Over the next few weeks, all Flickr users will become able to log into their profiles even without the Yahoo account.
Since Flickr was acquired by SmugMug, I have been wondering what changes this will bring to the not-so-popular-anymore platform. And now the big changes are finally coming. First of all, you soon won’t need a Yahoo! account to sign in to Flickr. But the changes are also coming to the Pro and Free accounts, limiting the free ones to 1,000 images.
It’s been reported before that Verizon was about to acquire Yahoo. Now it’s officially done – Verizon is a new owner of Yahoo, along with Flickr, their (once) popular photo sharing platform. Verizon has acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion, and they plan to combine it with AOL and create a new service called Oath.
If you own a Flickr account you should probably change your password the minute you read this post. Yahoo says that the data breach occurred in late 2014 and “The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers“.
This does not mean that your Flickr password was necessarily stolen (and if it was, it is not that easy to un-hash hashed passwords), but you should probably change your password just to be safe. Especially if this user/password combo is used for more than Flickr.
You can read more about this breach on Yahoo’s FAQ.
P.S. in case you are looking for an alternative, here are some self hosted options for you.
Nine years, that’s how long I have been a Flickr user for and I have always found the service to be fairly good value. I like the way Flickr looks and how it presents my photos, I like the fact that I can use the Flickr App to share and show my photos to people on my phone when I’m out and about, I like that I can join groups, and I like that I can post photos to these groups. Flickr isn’t perfect but I believe it’s still pretty good and it’s better than some other hosted photo sharing services.
I have never had any reason to dislike Flickr enough to want to find an alternative since I have never really taken my photography seriously. However I have plenty of reasons to stop using Flickr now that I take my photography more seriously and Flickr has been acquired by Verizon. And it seems I’m not the only one who thinks it’s time to give up on Flickr.
It’s not new information that Yahoo has been struggling. It may have been one of the Internet’s original giants, but they just can’t keep up and compete today. Google dominates the search market, Messenger usurped by Facebook, no real mobile platform, and no solid leadership. It’s not looking good.
About the only things Yahoo have left that are really all that useful to the general Internet population are Flickr and Tumblr. Now, Recode reports that Verizon are about to take up the reins in a $5 billion acquisition of Yahoo.