Flickr helps discover a world of gorgeous photography on any device: Markus Spiering

Last month, we celebrated Facebook turning 10. What went unnoticed by many was another web service which also turned 10 around the same time. Flickr, the preferred online digital album and photo editing tool for many photographers and enthusiasts the world over, has been around for 10 year, turning 10 on February 10. Acquired by Yahoo! in 2006, Flickr offers a gigantic one terabyte of storage for digital albums and lets users upload photos in high resolution. Markus Spiering, Head of Product, Flickr, shares with Abhik Sen his company’s plans for the future. Edited excerpts:


What distinguishes Flickr from other services in the same space? In these days of Instagram and other such services, how are you coping?  


digital photography, an area that Flickr pioneered in, has never been bigger. There are a lot of photo-related services out there, but Flickr is something that is truly unique: A powerful photo platform that not only gives you incredible ways to organise our photos, but also to discover content from an amazing global community and to participate in there. Flickr in many ways is less about the people that you know already, and more about the people that you may not know today, but who have similar interests like you.


With the recent changes to the product, Flickr has been completely re-imagined. With photos at the centre of the experience, users can now store a lifetime of photos with the 1TB free storage. Flickr helps people explore and discover a world of gorgeous photography on any device. Whether organising, editing or sharing photos, Flickr lets people enjoy their photography long after snapping their photos.


How has the response been to Flickr’s updated interface and enhanced storage capacity? What kind of numbers have you seen in terms of users? Has it led to a sharp rise in the number of users?  


We have one of the best online communities in the world and response to the changes we made last year has been great.   We have 92 million users spread across 63 countries, almost 2 million groups, and photo uploads are up 170 per cent since we announced 1TB of storage. 


 How tightly are you integrating Flickr with Yahoo’s other services?


Flickr is already integrated into some of our core experiences such as Yahoo Weather and Yahoo Mail. The gorgeous photos that make Yahoo Weather a beautiful and unique experience for the user, is powered by the Project Weather community on Flickr.


What is in store for the future? How will Flickr stay relevant for the next 10 years?


We are just in the beginning of an era: Photography is now something that is accessible to everyone, everywhere. We all take way more photos than we ever used to and Flickr, with this DNA in photography, will always be on the forefront of where online photography is going.


Looking at our product portfolio there are three distinctive areas which all have a huge potential for growth: Mobile (where the iPhone is the most popular camera on Flickr since years), Desktop (where we provide amazing organisational tools and an exceptional photo experience to see the high-resolution photos in a big way) and our API eco-system (Flickr is where our users are – starting from native integrations directly in iOS 7, OS X Mavericks, Adobe Lightroom, Apple iPhoto, Apple TV, Samsungs new smart cameras, etc.) 

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