Flickr Shifting Towards More Stylish, App-Like Design Next Week

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Flickr is getting a much needed makeover. Markus Spiering, the company’s senior product manager, told Betabeat that users should expect the new look by February 28.

In the age of Instagram and Google+, Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, was starting to look a little outdated. Sure, serious photographers and DSLR-armed amateurs never abandoned it, but the casual user had less of an incentive to sign up.

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Gone will be the neat rows of thumbnails surrounded by white space and tags; in their place will be a stylish jigsaw of photos featuring images around four times bigger than they were before.

The upload page will also be revamped. The boring, none-too-convenient process of clicking a blue upload link and searching through your hard drive will be replaced by a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Flickr has been curiously underutilized in Yahoo’s other products since it was purchased in 2005. Spiering indicated that would change, with increased integration into services such as Yahoo Mail.

The company apparently will also refocus its efforts on its mobile product, an area where it has been most vulnerable to social photo-sharing sites including Instagram and the combination of Google+ and Picasa.

Despite the threat from new challengers, Flickr still holds a lofty position when it comes to photo-sharing sites. Its 3.5-million daily uploads come in second only to Facebook. Betabeat also pointed out that Flickr had dropped the price of its two-year subscription — which gets you perks like unlimited uploads, stats and HD video playback — by $5 in January.

All of it, from the new app-like interface to the lower prices, makes it seem like Flickr has decided to stop ignoring the younger, hipper companies gathering at the gates.

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