As avid techcrunch readers know, Yahoo Photos is closing. This does not surprise me much. I know this business pretty well. Yahoo photos was a Shutterfly-Ofoto-Snapfish clone. They let you share your photos for “free,” where free meant that you could not get back to your fullsize images unless you bought them back on paper. It’s the black-flag roach motel theory of sharing. Images check in but they don’t check out.
The problem is, users only print the really good stuff, and less and less as time goes on. And who wants the Yahoo Photos style of private sharing? Family-oriented shooters mostly. Family oriented sharing requires a ton of disk storage and not much bandwidth (sharing) relative to the storage requirements. So monetization through printing is tough, even tougher when you are Yahoo and don’t actually own your own presses like Shutterfly. Yahoo also ran ads on Yahoo Photos, making the albums ugly and commercial. It would surprise me if they made any money on Yahoo Photos, even as big as it was. And when something is a perpetual money loser, resources to improve it are thin.
So Yahoo is closing Yahoo Photos and sending their users to Flickr. Focusing on Flickr for Yahoo makes perfect sense. Flickr is a media play. It’s American Idol for photos. The sharing relative to the storage is much higher, so monetization through advertising is more profitable.
The problem is, Flickr is really for a different group of Photographers. I don’t want to put photos of my kids in the tub on Flickr. That is ridiculous. And I don’t need the commentary of strangers on my family albums. So what should a Yahoo Photos user do?
They could transfer their Yahoo Photos account to Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak, officially supported Yahoo partners, trading one print-to-share company for another. Then they can let a new company keep their fullsize images hostage and ignore video.
Or they could come to Phanfare and move from user to customer. We have built a transfer mechanism to allow any Yahoo Photos user (need to be on Yahoo Photos 3.0 platform) to sign-up for Phanfare and have their entire Yahoo Photos account transferred to Phanfare.
To get you started, we will give six months of free Phanfare service to Yahoo Photos customers. That is six months of our premium service that takes photos and VIDEOS. Yes, you can upload your video clips and have them shared, and archived right along with your photos. You can enjoy our high touch customer service. (Want to try it? Call 800 699 9354 right now and talk to one of our amazing college-educated customer service superstars. Try that at Yahoo. First you will need to find their phone number.) You can add your music from iTunes to your slide shows. You can get amazing full screen slide shows and you can download whole albums of fullsize originals and videos back to any computer.
It is true that we are small little company compared to Yahoo, but just as Apple is small compared to Dell, we don’t think you will be disappointed.