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20 May 2013

Flickr launched its redesign with a free terabyte of storage space on the day Thumblr was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion. Big numbers. But it isn't all about the numbers this time.

FLICKR | Back to Contents

On its blog, Flickr put the announcement in perspective:

We're giving your photos room to breathe and you the space to upload a dizzying number of photos and videos, for free. Just how big is a terabyte? Well, you could take a photo every hour for forty years without filling one.

But it's the redesign you'll notice, as the company observed:

We completely rebuilt the photostream to show off your photos in a seamless layout and gave you room to express yourself with a customizable cover photo and high-res profile picture.

On Flickr, you've always had powerful tools to organize your precious photos. Now your sets tell an even more beautiful story around your photos for you and anyone who's reading along.

Our new photo experience displays images in as many pixels as possible, with all the context you need to easily chime in on the conversation around every image.

There's also a new slideshow mode that beautifully showcases photos so you can simply lean back and enjoy them without lifting a finger. We combined elegant transitions and facial detection technology to make sure the key elements in every photo are highlighted.

The change to the Fickr pages we follow is pleasing, although there's a bit of a clip-art feel to the mastheads. But we find the new photostream attractive. And we're big fans of slide shows.

TUMBLR | Back to Contents

Marco Arment, the creator or Instapaper, went to work for David Karp in 2006 before Karp started Tumblr. The two of them worked on Tumblr together until Arment left in 2010. Tumblr made blogging easy, giving the blogger the option to write, post a photo or just a quote, among others. But it also implemented following and reblogging to create "a social-publishing hybrid," in Arment's words.

In a long post on his blog today, Arment remembers:

MySpace was where you went in the past, WordPress and Movable Type were where people went if they had the patience and writing output to maintain a traditional blog, Facebook was where you went to define yourself by schools and checkboxes and Tumblr was where you went to make your own identity and express your creativity.

But throughout the piece he makes it clear that Karp was the genius behind Tumblr:

I've only seen one other "product person" as good as David and that was Steve Jobs. (Believe me, there are many parallels.)

David has an impeccable sense of what's best for Tumblr, and he doesn't need anyone else telling him what's best for the product. Many people, myself included, have tried to convince him to go different directions and we've been proven wrong every time.

Tumblr is David, and David is Tumblr.

And Karp is locked into a four-year commitment to run Tumblr. "In many ways," Arment noted, "this feels more like a merger than an acquisition."

To which we can only add, Yahoo!

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