Yahoo is redesigning Flickr to compete with Instagram

It was only May of last year when the new Flickr design was unveiled, but now Yahoo’s photo-storage and sharing service is about to get yet another design reboot.

Back in May, the snazzy Flickr reboot had been a pet project for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. “I think Flickr is awesome again with these new announcements,” said Mayer at the unveiling. “Photos make the world go around. Flickr was awesome once. It languished. But now it’s awesome again.”

Clearly everything is not awesome. A report from Kara Swisher at Re/code says the Flickr recovery has been underwhelming:

Sources inside the company said that the reason for the redo is the lack of pickup of the old new Flickr. While it leaped from No. 64 in photo and video (No. 705 overall) in the U.S. to No. 9 (No. 130 overall) on App Annie rankings, Flickr has since waned to No. 43 (No. 426 overall).

By contrast, Facebook-owned Instagram is now No. 2 in photo and video and No. 8 overall.

Swisher says she’s seen snapshots of the redesign, which is intended to make the site even more optimized for sharing pictures and mobile browsing.

There are scant words and buttons on the main page, just an indication of who your followers are and a few more pieces of info in a floating text.

Most of all, the page is about photos, photos, photos. Big pretty photos and hardly any text to speak of.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The redesign will make Flickr look a lot like Instagram. as Yahoo hopes to take on the image-sharing platform in the social space. No word on what this means for advertisers, but if enough people start using Flickr again, it could become the new (old) place to have a marketing presence.

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