Can Flickr capitalize on instagram’s ‘misfortunes’?

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“Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor” — Hesoid.

Last week, Yahoo, which owns photosharing service flickr, released its completely overhauled iphone app. A bold move in an attempt to bring back the ‘coolness’ in flickr, which had largely been neglected for quite some time by its parent company. Given the positive reviews the app has been receiving across the web, this could perhaps be the perfect opportunity to re-position flickr not as an alternative to instagram, but as the ultimate preferred photo sharing service anywhere on the internet.

Now, Instagram, which has been enjoying an unprecedented popularity since it’s inception, decided to update their Terms & condition — giving them the authority to sell its users’ photos without their consent; Big mistake. Some professional photographers using the service felt undermined, causing an outrage which was followed by a mass exodus. Meanwhile, instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom, yesterday decided to take matters in his own hands to ‘clear the air’ of confusion. This is what he had to say in a blogpost:

“… I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion. As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos…”

Yet again, much like when facebook changed it’s privacy terms a few years ago, angering millions of its users, also prompting Zuckerberg to do some damage control — couple of years later, the same question still remains: Is there really such a thing as a ‘100% free service’ without any catch?

Nonetheless, in the tech industry, they say timing is a very important ingredient, especially when it comes to product release . In Flickr’s case, however, the timing of the release of their app coinciding with instagram’s mass exodus, could result in an opportunity they would gladly relish; ie: to capitalize on instagram’s mistakes. Amid all the scramble for users, Flickr could easily turn out to be the eventual winner —That’s if they can deliver at least an android version of their iphone app.

Meanwhile, if you’re still upset about what instagram does with your photos, is really awesome ‘free’ service that allows you to migrate your instagram photos to flickr.

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