Michael Arrington has the scoop on Yahoo closing down its Yahoo Photos service, and integrating its users and photos into Flickr.
The service will be shut down in favor of the newer and more social Flickr, which they acquired in March of 2005. There has long been an issue at Yahoo where newer services have competed with older services, and Yahoo has finally taken some strong action to getting their house in order with a consistent set of product offerings.
Yahoo is not forcing transition to Flickr – instead, users are being given the option of choosing among a number of top photo sharing sites. If you are a current Yahoo! Photos user, you will be given the option to export all your photos into Flickr (a one-click process) or you will be able to export to a few other services such as Photobucket, Snapfish, Kodak Gallery or Shutterfly
Yahoo Photos is the largest photo sharing site online, with 2 billion stored photos, but according to Arrington and Yahoo, Flickr is growing at a more rapid pace and has more traffic than Yahoo Photos.
Yahoo Photos was also never really designed to be a social photo sharing site, instead a more intimate online destination for sharing photos with friends, family, and ordering prints.
Interesting that Yahoo is choosing the Flickr brand over the Yahoo! name in this decision and it makes me wonder if Yahoo will decide to further brand Flickr as a Yahoo service, something they are kind of doing now very quietly.