Only hours after announcing that it had acquired popular blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash, Yahoo Inc. had more big news up its sleeve. At a press event in New York City, chief executive Marissa Mayer announced a major redesign of Yahoo's photo-sharing site Flickr -- in what she called an effort to make the site "awesome again."
"Marissa asked us to reimagine Flickr," said Adam Cahan, senior vice president of Yahoo's Mobile Engineering and Emerging Products. "What would we do in a world of abundance? What would we bring to our users that would truly inspire and delight them?"
The result is a product that is "all about you and your photos," said Marcus Spiering, Yahoo's head of product.
Among the changes, Flickr has rebuilt the photo stream to showcase user photos in a "seamless layout" -- a mosaic of photos in all shapes and sizes -- and in full resolution without cropping. Profile pages now feature a customizable "full bleed" cover photo, meaning it spans the entire width of the screen at the top of the page.
There's also a new Activity Feed that combines friends' recent uploads with activity on your own photos. A new slideshow mode presents photos on screen and automatically advances images. "We combined elegant transitions and facial detection technology to make sure the key elements in every photo are highlighted," Flickr said in a blog post.
"It's heart-stoppingly beautiful," Mayer said of the redesign. "It's an immersive experience, wall-to-wall photos."
Another big change: Flickr is now offering one terabyte of free storage. That's the equivalent of 537,731 full-resolution pictures, Cahan said. Users can also now upload HD-quality videos (1080p) up to three minutes long each. That's significant for individuals and business who are active and upload a considerable amount of images to their Flickr pages.
Yahoo also announced a redesigned Flickr app for Android users on smartphones and tablets. The iPhone app was released in December. Yahoo says Flickr currently has 89 million users who have uploaded some 8 billion photos.
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