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Ticked off at Flickr

When Yahoo! bought Flickr, they kept the old Flickr with the old accounts that the initial supporters of Flickr had purchased intact.  Your account name was your email address, and that was that.  Anybody who had a Yahoo ID was just another account name, but you could still be a Flickr member as before.

Today this arrived in my Flickr inbox:

From:

FlickrHQ

Subject:

Update for Old Skool members

  Dear Old Skool Account-Holding Flickr Member, 

On March 15th we’ll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We’re making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in — like the mobile site at m.flickr.com or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at Yahoo! Go.

95% of your fellow Flickrites already use this system and their experience is just the same as yours is now, except they sign in on a different page. It’s easy to switch: it takes about a minute if you already have a Yahoo! ID and about five minutes if you don’t.

You can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you’ll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, go to Merge a Flickr and Yahoo! account.

Nothing else on your account or experience of Flickr changes: you can continue to have your FlickrMail and notifications sent to any email address at any domain and your screenname will remain the same.

Complete details and answers to most common questions are in our FAQ: Yahoo! IDs, signing in and screen names.

Thanks for your patience and understanding – and even bigger thanks for your continued support of Flickr: if you’re reading this, you’ve been around for a while and that means a lot to us!

Warmest regards,

– The Flickreenos

Now, I have already got a couple of Yahoo IDs.  Every time they come out with a service I want to try, I end up getting a new Yahoo ID, because I can’t remember the old one.  Fact is, the email address I used when I joined Flickr is the most consistent identifier I have, and the most consistent way to reach me.

I don’t really want a Yahoo ID, and every time Yahoo (or AOL, or… whoever!!!) forces me to get one it drives me crazy. But now that Yahoo has my photos hostage (and this blog, by the way, since there would be a ton of broken links if I were to drop my Flickr account), I’ll be forced to use one.

Frankly, it sucks.  I shouldn’t have to get new credentials every time someone launches a new web service.  I shouldn’t be forced to participate in every BigCo’s proprietary identity scheme just to use their services, either.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jim Courtney January 30, 2007, 5:43 pm

    I followed the link above and merged my accounts very quickly with a minimum of steps (would you believe two?). By chance it turns out my ID and email address associated with each account were the same (pwd's were different), really made the process simple. At this point once I am logged into Yahoo for any of their services, when I go to flickr.com, I am already logged in. I have to say I don't try every service they bring along.

  • Aswath January 30, 2007, 9:04 pm

    The indications are more and more services will use OpenID for single sign-on. Only yesterday, a new service that mapped Yahoo! ID to an OpenID (idproxy.net). This way one can let Yahoo authenticate you, but use an OpenID alias for other sites.

  • Alec January 30, 2007, 10:04 pm

    Single sign-on is great, I agree. But I already have a passport, and an AOL ID, and a couple of Yahoo IDs. I don’t have single sign-on, because they all want to be the sole single sign-on provider!

  • Ken Camp January 30, 2007, 10:32 pm

    I’m with Alec. Frankly I’m pissed and may delete my photos on Flick and not renew my pro account. My Flickr ID is kencamp. I used that almost everywhere. Everywhere I can. But like you, I forgot the Yahoo password to login to kencamp@yahoo.com so many years ago (it was last touched in 1997, but Yahoo doesn’t purge idle accounts) that it’s unrecoverable. So now I have ken.camp@yahoo, but frankly, I don’t use it and I don’t want that ID associated with my Flickr stuff.

    In my mind, they made a bad, bad move and I’m not at all happy. I’m not happy enough that I may just say bad things about them and forever abandon Y! because that’s the kind pf pain in the butt user I am.

  • Ken Camp January 31, 2007, 1:36 am

    I’m not sure I want OpenID for everything. Alec mentioned accounts he creates to test new services. I do the same. I don’t want to necessarily link my OpenID to temporary things I’m testing in every case. Sometimes yes, but sometimes I want to dabble first. I think OpenID is on the right path and I’m a big fan, but there are still lots of kinks to be worked out and critical mass to be attained. I’m afraid critical mass is farther away rather than closer, but at least we’re moving towards it.

  • Stewart Butterfield January 31, 2007, 9:34 am

    [I work for Flickr]

    @ Ken: “So now I have ken.camp@yahoo, but frankly, I don’t use it and I don’t want that ID associated with my Flickr stuff.” — , you don’t need to associate that ID with your Flickr account, at least in any way that any other user can see. That’s just what you type into the box on the sign in page.

    You Flickr screenname, buddy icon, account settings and email address all remain unchanged – notifications from Flickr and FlickrMail can still go to your gmail account or work account or wherever you have it sent now.

  • Alec January 31, 2007, 2:42 pm

    Hey Stewart,

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing this information. It's very much appreciated.

    Tell me, do you see the possibility that Yahoo might choose to step outside the current ID detente, and offer an open ID platform? Whoever does this first will break the stalemate.

  • Karim2k February 6, 2007, 2:59 am

    It’s really disgusting ! Flickr is ours (old school) we made it run we made it succeed so why are they stealing down our community ?

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