Yahoo Video will shut down and no longer be accessible to upload videos, said Yahoo in a statement on Wednesday. The move came close on the heels of firing more than firing 600 staffers mostly from Flickr to apparently cut down costs and focus on core products.
On December 15, 2010 the functionality to upload a video to Yahoo! Video was removed and a download utility, available through March 14, 2011, was added to users' video profiles to allow retrieval of content. The user-generated content will be removed from Yahoo! Video on March 15, 2011. We apologize if this causes you any inconvenience, Yahoo said in the statement.
But the move did not go well with many video lovers and Flickr users. Photographer Thomas Hawk has sent an open letter to by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, in his inimitable style, both criticizing and yet offering a way out.
First, he suggested Bartz to settle for a salary of $1 instead of $52 million plus a year for her failure to catch up with rivals like Google, Apple and Microsoft. Yet, he gave away an idea that could have returned him millions if he had sold it discreetly. He's has asked her to use Flickr more as a social networking tool like Facebook.
Reminding her that Flickr was indeed the largest well organized library of images in the world, he said it has a very strong social networking component. In fact, Flickr may represent (if managed correctly) your single biggest opportunity to launch a much larger and more lucrative social network (and stock photography agency as well). Have you spent any time in any Flickr groups? They are addicting. People live in them. They play games in them. All kinds of activity goes on in them every day. And if you took the time to really explore the social side of Flickr, you'd learn this, and figure out a way to grow it, he said and offered further advice if required.
Figure out how you can harness the social networking potential there. I’d be happy to talk with you about ways that you could improve it if you had an interest, is how he ended his open letter.
Created by Ludicorp in 2004, Flickr was acquired by Yahoo! a year later. Apart from letting its users share and embed personal photographs, it is used to host images that they can embed in blogs and social media. As of Sept. 2010, Flickr was hosting more than 5 billion images.
Its end is bound to make many Flickr lovers to send similar letters to Bartz but the flip side of it is its viability, say industry watchers. It requires huge bandwidth to transfer large files and involves storage costs, making it difficult to monetize, they say. But Flickr lovers hope more suggestions would come by to save it.