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Yahoo overhauls Flickr with one free terabyte for every user

Evan Dashevsky | May 22, 2013
After snapping up hipster blogging platform Tumblr on Monday, Yahoo summoned the tech press to a New York media briefing. But explaining why it dropped a cool $1.1 billion on Tumblr was so 15 minutes ago, Yahoo apparently decided. Instead, it used the event to focus on updates to Flickr, the tech giant's Web-based photo hosting service.

Another big change: A Facebook-like design on Flickr profile pages, which now offer a full-screen image at the head and a smaller profile pic off to the side. The new-look Web incarnation of Flickr is now live, as is a revamped app for Android .

The most impressive announcement to come out of the event, however, was the promise of 1TB of free storage for every Flickr user. (For the record, that's 1024 gigabytes). According to Mayer, the amount of potential data on the new Flickr--1TB of storage for each of the site's current 89 million customers--is ten times more data than all the photos that have ever been taken in the history of the world.

According to Mayer (and owing to the company's new concentration on nimbleness), the massive storage undertaking started as a dare to her staff at the end of March, and it was one they were able to fulfill before the end of the quarter.

The new free TB system will do away with the previous Flickr Pro accounts as everyone--not just pro users--has big image data needs. (Flickr Pro users who renew will get unlimited storage and an ad-free experience, but no new Pro accounts are available.) The new Flickr will allow everyone to basically put all their photos for the rest of their lives up on the site.

Most users will never ever come close to using a terabyte of photo storage. However, if Mayer and company were looking to make a splash with their big crazy pants number, mission accomplished.


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