May 20, 2013 -- It's a big day for Yahoo. A few hours after announcing its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo announced some major updates to its Flickr photo-sharing service.
"Tonight is about Flickr," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said at an event in New York City Monday evening. "It is about that other 'R' brand and how we can make Flickr awesome again."
To that end, Yahoo announced three main changes to Flickr: a cleaner design, a new Android app and much more storage space than any competing photo service offers.
The new design scraps all the white space and blue links for large photos. Every user profile has a full-lead image or a cover photo, and below that a user's large photos are displayed in a grid. When users visit other profiles, they will see the same layout. There's also a photo stream page, which will bring in photos from people you follow.
Those big photos are a crucial part to the new parts of the service, Mayer and SVP of Mobile Products Adam Cahan said this evening. Those photos are uploaded in full resolution. "We never want you to compromise a single pixel at Flickr," Cahan said from the stage.
While Facebook and other photo services compress photos when uploading, Flickr will upload the full resolution image -- every pixel at the full size, no degradation. Google announced last week that its photo service, which is integrated into Google Plus, will also allow users to view and upload full-resolution images taken on phones or with digital cameras.
Yahoo, however, is planning to stand out from Google in one key way when it comes to photos. Yahoo will offer everyone a full free terabyte of storage space. Google offers 15GB of free space; it charges $49.99 a month for a terabyte of space.
"No other tech company has ever offered a terabyte of storage," Cahan said. A terabyte, which Yahoo says is basically like offering unlimited storage, can house more than a half a million photos (537,731 photos to be exact).
Yahoo plans to roll out the new features today at Flickr.com and release a new Android app. The company also plans to remind people about Flickr, which was once a very popular photo-sharing service before the days of Facebook, with a new marketing campaign. The advertising efforts will kick off with 11 billboards in New York's Times Square.
Mayer, who took over as CEO of Yahoo in July 2012, has worked to turn the company around. In addition to the Tumblr acquisition, which is her largest acquisition to date, she has announced refreshes to Yahoo Mail and Flickr's iPhone app.
"When I came to Yahoo, the Internet petitioned me ''Please Make Flickr Awesome Again,' and now I think Flickr is awesome again," she said at the end of the event. "I wasn't the one who did it. I want to thank the team who did this. Photos make the world go around, Flickr was awesome once, and we're going to make it awesome again."