Brad Garlinghouse, SVP of Yahoo and author of the famous "Peanut Butter Manifesto," in which he told people inside Yahoo that the company was spread too thin, told me tonight at a dinner that "I'm eating my own peanut butter." On Friday, he said, Yahoo will begin to close down Yahoo Photos, in favor of Flickr, the competing photo sharing site the company bought about two years ago.
Yahoo Photos users will be given the opportunity to move their pictures over to Flickr. But Garlinghouse admits that Flickr isn't the right sharing site for many users of Yahoo Photos, so people will be given the option to instead move pictures to Shutterfly or the Kodak Gallery.
This is an interesting move for Yahoo, a company geared toward serving the mass audience of online users. Flickr is a great service, but it's the black sheep of popular photo sites--it's got a different organizational system from most sites, it's more open, and it attracts a more tech-adept user base.
As with most big Yahoo service changes, this transition will take several months.
If you have shots on Yahoo Photos and need to figure out what to do with them, I do recommend giving Flickr a whirl. It's a fast and flexible sharing system for which smart people are building some very clever apps and mashups. It's not based on the standard "album" metaphor that most photo sites use, but when was the last time you put your digital photos in a printed album?