Flickr users are up in arms over several Yahoo changes to the popular photo-sharing site, including one that will require everyone to sign in using a Yahoo ID. Particularly rankled are old-timers who have been signing in via an "old skool" system long before Yahoo acquired Flickr nearly two years ago.
On Tuesday, Yahoo said in a Flickr blog that it will discontinue the e-mail-based Flickr sign-in system. (Signing in may be required to read the blog.) Beginning March 15, everyone will have to have a Yahoo ID to sign in.
"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 Flickr's mobile site, the blog posting says.
Thomas Hawk, a San Francisco photographer who is chief executive of rival photo sharing site Zooomr, complained that he has four Flickr accounts and the change will mean he will have to create four different Yahoo accounts to keep them separate, and log in and out of Yahoo each time he wants to get to them. He also doesn't want his other Yahoo services associated with his Flickr accounts. He also criticizes Yahoo's limiting of the number of contacts a Flickr member can have and the number of tags users can use.
In Flickr forums, some users asked how they could get refunds and others threatened to not renew.
Eric in SF writes: "In the end, I completely understand all of the technical issues and agree with them. I just don't trust Yahoo and do not want their marketing droids using my personal info."
"Big mistake, flickr overlords. Big mistake," writes ShadowBox. "But then bad decisions and Yahoo have a tendency of sticking together."
A Yahoo spokeswoman released this statement in response to criticisms: "We are simplifying the registration process, and we continue to focus on innovation, ease of use and new functionality. At this point, the vast majority of Flickr users already have Yahoo IDs, and this will not affect a significant number of users."
More information is available here.