The personal brain-dump of Garrett Coakley

Flickr to require Yahoo! login - world about to end apparently

As you may have heard, Flickr have re-announced their intention to shut off the old sign-in system and move solely to Yahoo's authentication system on the 15th March.

(I say “re-announced” as this has been on the cards since the original buy out)

From the furore erupting on the forums and on other sites you'd think Stuart and the guys had decided to put babies on spikes, not streamline their login system.

I've personally introduced god knows how many people to flickr, many of whom went on to purchase Pro accounts, so I thought I'd address some of the misconceptions and complaints that are flying around in case they had any worries (which is much easier than wading through the offical support forum, which has turned into a bit of a pile-on in my opinion)

  1. <q>I don't want another login</q>The Yahoo login will be replacing your flickr login, it won't be in addition to. And if you already have a Yahoo ID then your total count of user IDs will actually go down.
  2. <q>I don't want to be xygh1222tad3@yahoo.com, I don't want to lose my flickr username</q>Your Yahoo ID has no affect on your screenname within flickr. Nor does it affect your buddy icon, email settings etc.
  3. <q>Yahoo's authentication sucks, it keeps logging me out every X days</q>Once you've merged and logged back into flickr, the flickr servers will keep you logged in. You won't be at the mercy of Yahoo's whimsy. I merged my account a few months ago (for access to the Filckr mobile site) and haven't been back to Yahoo's site since. So far everything has been fine.
  4. <q>I hate Yahoo</q>I've heard some people complain that they've had bad experiences with Yahoo in the past (note: I'm only talking from a technical angle here, their dealings with China are for another time). Fair enough, can't say I've had any problems myself and I've had my Yahoo ID for over 8 years for IM purposes (oh christ I feel old), I don't use the email side of it at all.It probably helps that the UK has some pretty hefty data protection legislation.

Heather has also been compiling a list of these questions as a sticky topic at the top of the thread pages

As to how I personally feel about this? To be honest I'm sitting on the fence. We've known this has been coming down the pipe since the buyout so the technical change doesn't impact me at all. If unifying the architecture allows them to roll out swanky new features then I'm all for it.

If I have any worries it's about how much affect the corporate culture at Yahoo is having on Flickr's independent attitude. The staff are in the threads doing their best to to reassure people that this isn't happening, but who knows.

My Pro account is paid up until the end of 2008 so I have plenty of time to see how things pans out. I've made too many friends and contacts through Flickr to just jump ship without good reason, and this isn't a good reason. Fingers crossed the good will out.

More comment and analysis: Metafilter, Thomas Vander Wal.