Some of you may have read about Flickr's proposed integration
with the Yahoo! network that will require users to sign in to Flickr
via a Yahoo! account. Well, at this moment, 800 Flickr users have
banded together in a FlickOff group that is threatening to leave Flickr because of the integration.
I'm sure I'll get some flack for this, but to all you FlickOff protesters:
One user writes: "I don't want to join with Yahoo, if I'd have known this was going to
happen I would have never joined Flickr in the first place."
Because you know what will happen? If you have to sign into Flickr with a Yahoo! ID, men in black suits from Yahoo! will come to your house and implant Y! chips in your head. They may eat your babies, too...
I think people have taken this a little too far. Flickr is a great service made even better by the Yahoo acquisition if for no other reason than it now has a place to live where I don't have to worry about the darn thing going out of business. Now, perhaps the integration and communication could have been a bit smoother, but changing the way you sign in to get your photos is no different than the bank giving you a new banking card when it merges with another bank... and I'm sure this has happened to most of these people before. You never hear anyone go, "Had I known that North Fork Bank was going to give me a North Fork banking card when they bought Hamilton Federal Savings, I never would have put my money here in the first place." At most, its a minor inconvenience with the tradeoff being a more permanent service. As an independent company, there was nothing guaranteeing Flickr staying around or a plan B if Caterina and Stewart got hit by a bus.
Remember way back when we used to get messages saying that AOL was going to start charging extra for IM? Even recently, forwards went around Friendster that said that Friendster was going to turn people's profiles off if they didn't log in everyday or some ridiculous thing like that.
No, I believe that Yahoo! has some smart people there and that they didn't build a userbase of 200 million people accidently. They're not going to shut Flickr off, hold my photos for ransom, or implant chips in my head. This is just a minor step in the integration of two systems (Flickr is a BETA, remember??) and I'm fine with it. Its a fantastic service--so far out ahead of anything else that the occasional hiccup won't bother me.