Once heralded by some as being the “YouTube of images,” Flickr has been struggling to regain its former glory in the wake of fierce competition from numerous social rivals (many of them matching Flickr’s premium features with free ones).
In an attempt to increase its appeal to the masses, it looks like Yahoo!’s photo social network is reaching out to an old nemesis in what appears to be a strange courtship.
With dozens of different login usernames and passwords out there on the Interwebs, who needs to add yet another one to the list? To help solve this, Flickr is rolling out a new feature to make it easier than ever for new users to join our community. We’re introducing OpenID on Flickr, a service that makes it faster and easier to sign-up for new accounts by letting you use one identity across multiple websites. So starting today, you’ll be able to use a Google account to sign-up for a new Flickr account. We’re pleased to announce Google as our first partner, but stay tuned as we continue to add even more in the future! (Official Flickr Blog)
This alliance probably seems strange given that Google already owns a photo social network (Picasa Albums for those wondering) which outside of Blogger is not exactly a thriving success.
While Flickr extending an olive branch to Google might seem strange, in the long run it’s a wise maneuver in the age of Facebook, the latter which has overthrown Flickr as the king of the photo social networks.
Unfortunately current Flickr users will be unable to replace their Yahoo! accounts with Google, although hopefully the Flickr team will consider allowing users to connect their accounts to Google via OpenID.
While this maneuver indicates that Flickr is far from dead (and probably is not interested in selling out to the highest bidder), only time will tell whether courting Google will help the site regain its former glory.