Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Thursday, 1 February 2007

Flickr to require Yahoo usernames

The Flickr forums
Users have posted almost 500 comments so far

Users of the popular photo-sharing site Flickr are upset with the announcement that customers must use Yahoo IDs to log-in from 15 March.

In an e-mail to users, Flickr said founding members, known as "old skool" users, would have to switch to "simplify the sign in process".

Many, including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, have left negative comments on the company's forum.

"I like being Old Skool. Please reconsider!" he said.

Others echoed his sentiments.

"I don't like yahoo and I don't like my Yahoo account," Flickr user Joe Philipson said on the forum.

"I take pride in being an old skool member," he said.

Technical concerns

Why are the Old Skool members being treated like second class citizens on this issue? We are the community that made Yahoo buy you guys.
Jeff O'Hara
Flickr user zemote

While many, like Mr Wales and Mr Philipson, are focusing on the loss of cachet that was associated with Old Skool status, others raised technical issues.

A common concern was over log-in persistence; under the old skool scheme, users could enter their details once and save them to a computer forever, however Yahoo services often require users to log-in more often.

But Flickr staff member Simon Batistoni, known by his Flickr name hitherto, wrote on the forum: "Once your account is merged, you just need to log into Flickr once. From then on, you will remain logged into Flickr."

'Flick off'

Flickr first started offering the option of using a Yahoo ID after they were purchased by the internet portal giant in March 2005.

At that time, a hard-core group of users created a group called Flick off to galvanise support for their anti-Yahoo log-in cause.

One member of the group, ScrewDriver, explained that "the dissension here in part is a resistance to change and a deep-rooted distrust of mega-corporations possessed with wallet assaulting tentacles".

Stewart Butterfield, a Flickr employee, said: "There's no secret agenda here.

"Over time, it just gets more expensive to maintain independent means of authentication and we could 'spend' those efforts on other things which make Flickr more useful, more fun, more versatile."

Are you an Old Skool Flickr user? Have you already merged your Flickr account with a Yahoo one? You sent us your views.

Some people really need to get over themselves.

I have a yahoo id and associated email for egroups, I get the messages via pop3 access, the email addy has the least spam of all my email addresses, there is about one yahoo mail a quarter. I only login directly to yahoo if searching for new groups.

I am permanently logged onto flickr.
Walwyn, Rugby

No way! I positively don't need another useless account into some gigantic meg-corp portal which is only going to get filled up with spam, since I guess I'll never be using a yahoo email address. I already have at least 6 other email addresses. And besides, the only search engine worth using is Google. It's a pity, because I'm an avid fan of Flickr, the photos you can find there, amateurish or professional, are simply stunning. And, yes, being Old Skool is cool.
Sacha Padovani, Siena, Italy

Yeah I'm Old Skool and proud to be old Skool. To be honest it's not surprising that this community has been snapped up by a big corporate company. How I sign in does not bother me whats important is the photography and community past the log in screen. Anyway sooner or later it will be bought out again, probably by Tesco's no doubt!
Hazabaza, Gateshead

I merged my Flickr account with my existing Yahoo! account soon after the takeover. My Flickr login is persistent and, once logged in, don't notice the Yahoo! connection.

Move on, people. Worry about something that matters.
Tim Beadle, Bath, UK

I'll merge my accounts if I have to - Flickr is undoubtedly one of the best websites out there - but I'm leaving it to the last possible moment to make the switch.

I fear that, should my new and pointless Yahoo! account be deleted for whatever reason, I would then also lose all my Flickr photos. I'm not switching untill they can assure me this is not the case.
Dave Morris, Oxford, UK

I've been using Flickr since November 2004 and paid to go Pro last year. I just don't see why we need a Yahoo ID, every other site I use just requires a valid email address as Flickr used to do. Even though I'm with BT Yahoo and have and ID already, I'm already looking at the vast number of alternatives that are available.
Paul Cooper, Sheffield, England

Honestly, there are far more important things to worry about in the world than how to log on to your Flickr account!! I find it ammusing how some users get so worked up over such a small insignificant thing such as this.

Spanner, Warington

I don't want to have yet another online ID, I enjoy using flickr partly because it's easy to stay logged on, better than google and most others. Recall my early yahoo account was complex and dropped it pretty quick in favour of hotmail. So flickr please reconsider, on the other hand are there any alternatives?

jamespiggot, Oxford

I merged sometime ago when I was first asked too. There really are more important things in life to worry about. Seriously.
Tony Lacey, Manchester, UK

Its a shame that Flickr is doing this change. I don't have a Yahoo account and I don't particularly want one, so why are Flickr forcing me ?

I already pay for the full account, so that should cover the cost of me using the Old Skool login.
Rob, Theale, UK

I'm an old school member. I have not yet merged my account to a Y! ID. Why? Laziness.

The stance people take to bicker about this is nonsense. Why waste your time complaining? The only difference is your username changes to access the system. If that is such a big problem piss off.

If it makes people feel better Y! and Flickr should add an avatar of a walker next to all the whiners so they get their holier than thou old school status. Weak and lame.
Boof, MT,USA

I am an old-skool user of Flickr but yesterday I merged my account with my old Yahoo account. I didn't want to, I was happier with my old-skool login. But there seemed to be no option but to comply. It seems big-business often gobbles up the small and innovative startups.
H Dickins, Cardiff, UK

I am a Flickr "Old School" member and recently was informed of the change in policy. While I can't say this is entirely unexpected, I am dismayed at this decision. This means I have to create a new Yahoo! account for the sole purpose of using Flickr, which in turn means I must give my personal details to yet another internet company. Flickr is one of the few internet companies that I genuinely trust; it has a real sense of community, the staff seem friendly and down to earth, and their services in my opinion are second to none. However, this is the dominating corporation side of Flickr rearing it's ugly head.
Eamonn Kubba, Keele University

I have just deleted my Flickr account as I already have problems using Yahoo with different identitys. I can't log in to BT/Yahoo webmail whilst browsing my Yahoo groups mailing lists because I use different email addresses and usernames to help reduce spam. Why should I consolidate my accounts? I'll wait for another decent photo publishing website to come along as one invariably will.
The Fat One, London UK

Hey, the Internet/World Wide Web is a pretty big universe. Not happy with Flickr? Then start something new. Take your ball and go to a different ballpark. Which ballpark? The new one you create on the Web....!!!
C. Alexander Brown, Rockcliffe Park, Canada

I am joining numerous other users in deleting all of my Flickr photos and removing my account entirely. I have a grave distrust of Yahoo!, notably because of their weak stance on spam and privacy practices. Other, non-Yahoo! owned sites are sure to spring up and eventually overshadow Flickr -- Yahoo! cannot maintain a high-profile site long before they ruin it or are overshadowed by better, less evil, companies.
Eric, Tampa, Forida USA

Do you really expect "old school" users to answer when you want name, e-mail, etc? That's the very reason they don't want Yahoo logins! Wake up and smell the coffee, dudes!
Wazit Tooya, Wichersham, Idaho

I'm a PAYING old skool user (Yes Yahoo I PAID MONEY!) and will not be merging. In fact I will no longer be paying Flickr/Yahoo. Smugmug can have it instead as I'd rather give it to them than put up with endless bombarding Yahoo spam.
Mark, Leicestershire, UK

I merged my Old Skool account a long time ago. This controversy is crazy. Old Skool Flickrites seem to be making this into a bigger problem than it actually is. I haven't heard a reasonable argument as to why merging is so abhorrent. If you only use Yahoo for Flickr, then since you only have to enter your username once, you'll never notice the difference. If you use Yahoo for other things, then you have probably already merged anyway. Perhaps Flickr could preserve the Old Skool status by adding it to the user details.
Andrew Box, United States

I have already linked my yahoo account with my flickr account and I have been logging in through Yahoo for a while now. However I wonder what would happen if someone registered with flickr and had paid to become a pro user for a year but did not have a Yahoo account?
Tom, London

i was too quick this morning. damn i created a yahoo account. YUK. i did not log in to it had the mail sent to my gmail and activated it from there.

i intend to NEVER ever use this yahoo account for anything.

i wish i hadn't changed it. can i go back to being normal (what yahoo deems second class and old skool).
raoul zellien, tielrode

This idea frustrates me. I'll just end up stopping using it. I don't like the yahoo setup, never mind on flickr!
Tierna, Belfast

Lets see if Yahoo put the fee up for a PRO account.I only have just over 2000 images but I'd be quite happy to remove them .
Allen, stockport

I'm an Old Skool flickr member, and have loved being part of it. My page is at - I not only joined, but pay for my subscription. Whilst I understand that bandwidth can be costly, a huge number of subscribers pay. Look at deviantART - another massive community that thrives off ads and subscriptions.

The problem is that we don't want companies like Yahoo buying up innovative new things to glean more users in an effort to keep up with Google. The service is put at risk.

The main concern is that there are many technical issues surrounding the log-ins. For example, if you sign up, get a Yahoo email, and then leave it idle for a set period of time, your Yahoo account expires. So, what does that do to Flickr? Causes all your photos to be deleted!

Sorry, but I pay for my subscription from FLICKR. It should not be dependent on a third-party login system which is nothing to do with the Flickr service.
Stephen McLeod, Glasgow

I am a "old skool" Flickr user ( and I haven't merged my account yet. My major problem is that Yahoo! requires you to enter personal information like gender and birth date so that they can target me with gender and age specific advertising. I am also particularly annoyed that they don't let you leave the gender field blank. Will I switch over? Probably, I love Flickr a lot and think the best of the people who work there. For me this is an issue of how Yahoo treats its customers, not Flickr.
Scott Devoid, Chicago, USA

I would rather not merge my account. I have a Yahoo Flickr account too, so I don't much mind it being Yahoo, but I mind being told what to do. I explore Flickr every day, and though I have a number of photos uploaded, my account does not compare to those which contain thousands of photos, and use unique account names.
Andrew McDermott, Bristol, England

I find it frustrating that I would have to get yet another email address and remember yet another password to use a service I already use quite well with an existing "identity." I have been trying to cut down on the number of logins and passwords I have to remember.
Rachael, Vancouver, Canada

I am an old skool member (lomokev) and have been on the since Dec 2004. I have not merged my account into a yahoo account yet simply because i have not got round to it. When the time comes i will merge so i can continue using the site. I have no idea what the fuss is about. at the end of the day the "Flick off" group has about 1500 members I would not like to guess how many of the are active members of the group but I bet it's not a lot. It's all a lot of fuss about nothing and I am surprised the BBC payed any attention to it
kevin meredith, brighton, UK

I merged my Old Skool account with a Yahoo account tonight because my paid account doesn't expire until later in the year, and I don't want to have wasted my money. When the time comes though, I'll vote with my feet and move on.

I don't trust Yahoo. I fear a loss of independance, and I fear a loss of control over my photographs. With Flickr, I feel like I'm sharing with friends. With Yahoo, I feel like I'm signing away my rights. I know my legal agreements with the site haven't changed, but perception and confidence go a long way.
Jon Eccleston, Plymouth, UK

I've still got two accounts and I've merged.

I've kept my existing BT Yahoo account and created a new Yahoo account I will only use for Flickr. I've ticked every box I can to avoid having to use the new Yahoo account other than for Flickr. This protects me if I change ISP provider.

If Yahoo flexes its muscles again, I'll just ask for my money back and go elsewhere.
Claire Jones, Brentwood, UK

I'm a pro-user, and I'm off. If I can't get a partial refund, I'll let my current subscription run out and use another service. Yahoo's intermittent and tempramental login systems are the bane of users lives. You have to re-authenticate every hour literally. The reason ? tracking your habits. No thanks.
Gary, Liverpool

I am an Old Skool Flickr user who has already merged my Flickr account with a Yahoo one. I don't see what the big deal is. Why should anybody be forced to maintain 2 distinct login methods? There is nothing wrong with logging in with a Yahoo ID. You don't have to use any of the other services. People need to chill out. If some Old Skool members feel slighted by not being special anymore then maybe Flickr can add a date joined field to users profiles so they can show off that way or something. It really just amounts to lame "My e-penis is bigger than yours" posturing.
Chris, Fredonia, NY USA

I stopped using Flickr when I discovered I never bother with my Yahoo account. Why would I bother using it when Ringo links to my msn, Myspace AND gmail accounts?
Russ Cutress, Stockholm, Sweden.

I may not have merged my accoutn but i am old skool older than 5.5 million over flickr users pre yahoo. I wont be merging i will be moving on.

The yahoo Tos is un aceptible and flickr has bascially sold their sole for cash.

There is no way i am ever giving yahoo the rights to use any of my images for free, for their profit.

Flickr also lied,

"Do I have to have a Yahoo ID to use Flickr?

No. In the future, you'll be able to log into Flickr using your Yahoo account, but you can continue logging on as before. "

Where is that promis now, in the bin is where. I am so let down and disapointed in what used to be fun orignal company with a close comunity.

They are just sell outs
MR W B Jones, Liverpool

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