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Yahoo Photos escape hatch now open

Yahoo Photos members now can start moving their photo archives to some alternative sites.

Yahoo Photos will be shut down in 99 days for some users, but Yahoo released tools Wednesday to let members move their pictures to alternative sites.

Yahoo Photos members now can migrate their pictures elsewhere.
Yahoo Photos members now can migrate their pictures elsewhere. Yahoo

In a blog posting Wednesday, Tim Anderson, the senior product manager of Yahoo Photos and Flickr, encouraged the Yahoo Photos users to move their photos to Yahoo's other photo site, Flickr. But the company also will let members move their photos to four other sites: Snapfish, Shutterfly, Photobucket and Kodak Gallery.

Look at the options carefully before you switch. Some are offering perks such as free prints, and others don't support some Yahoo Photos features such as tags. And don't be in a rush: The site won't shut down until September 20, and international users likely will get even more leeway.

Conspicuously missing from the migration list is Picasa, the photo-sharing site run by Yahoo archrival Google.

The site was misbehaving on Wednesday evening. When I tried to move my photos, I got an error message: "Wait! There's a problem. We're sorry about this, but we couldn't start your migration for a very technical reason that you probably don't want to know."

Members also can buy archival CDs--which might not be a bad idea no matter in any event given that most folks are backup shirkers.

"We've watched photography gradually change from a tool for simply recording life events (seen enough baby/wedding/graduation/vacation photos, anyone?) to a social tool for sharing and connecting with others. That's why we believe it's time to shift our focus towards Flickr," Anderson said.