Yahoo appears determined to reclaim Flickr’s former glory and outdo rival photo-sharing services like Facebook’s Instagram. Yet, those efforts suffered another setback this week with the loss of Mark Spiering, Flickr’s head of product since 2011.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, Spiering just joined EyeEm, a Berlin-based photo-sharing community and marketplace. As head its product development team, Spiering is leading EyeEm’s U.S. expansion. In fact, Florian Meissner, co-founder and CEO of EyeEm, cited Spiering’s “network in North America” as critical to the company’s expansion plans.
Members of EyeEm’s community decide which of their images are put up for sale; they retain the copyright to their works and get a share of revenue.
Founded in 2011, a free EyeEm app for iOS and Android has so far been downloaded more than 10 million times, per the company’s estimate.
Flickr was the Web’s foremost photo-sharing platform when it was sold to Yahoo in 2005. Since then, the unit has suffered from stagnation within Yahoo’s corporate structure, management turnover and the rise of more mobile- and social-friendly services like Instagram.
Among other issues, it wasn’t until late last year that Flickr finally decided to give users a broad set of options for embedding images on other Web pages.
Now, with the support of CEO Marissa Mayer -- and an impending windfall from Alibaba’s IPO -- Yahoo is reportedly close to relaunching Flickr for the third time since 2012.
Flickr remains a force to be reckoned with. This time last year, the service had nearly 90 million registered users uploading roughly 3.5 million images on a daily basis.
Despite its rapid growth, Instagram is only expected to have 40 million registered users by the end of the year, according to eMarketer.
In 2011, Spiering took the reins at Flickr on an interim basis after Matthew Rothenberg left Yahoo.
Yahoo did not return requests for comment by press time.