The Great Yahoo Divorce

I typically make many changes at the start of the new year—like in 2015 my “Flickr a Day” project, which featured one photographer’s capture each day for the entire year. As 2017 begins, I am abandoning Yahoo and its photo-sharing site, for many of the reasons stated seven months ago. My Flickr Pro account expires in September, and I will cancel a few weeks earlier to prevent auto-renewal. In the meantime, I consider my Flickr officially closed, and I will no longer use it.

I also will move from Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial license to All Rights Reserved. There are plenty enough free photos out there for people to use; I don’t need the name recognition by someone else publishing mine for free; and in most instances, if someone asks, I will grant usage permission. Should a utility become available for exporting from Flickr to Instagram, the CC pics may someday be available there. Meanwhile, I return to using SmugMug, which I will make over in bits and pieces of free time during January. The family-owned business now offers import utilities for Flickr and Google Photos, which are where nearly all my cloud stored images are. Consolidation is ideal. 

Alternatively, I considered using 500px, for which I paid for an account the past two years without uploading a single image. My subscription expired yesterday. I am fond of SmugMug; there are better editing and management tools there; and it’s where the pros go. Confession: I’m not one but do plan to make photography more of an artistic endeavor. Hmmm, so much so that I strongly considered doing a Flickr-a-Day-like project with my own pics, called Moments, and likewise posting one per day. But the time commitment would be too big and take away from work that pays.

Flickr is but one Yahoo service getting the boot. My Tumblr will permanently close, too, although I will hold on to the joewilcox handle for privacy and security reasons. Right now, points there. I’m undecided about how the domain will be used going forward.

Also out: Yahoo Mail, which is quagmire of crap. I haven’t used the service for years, yet somehow it collects more spam than any other ever. How’s 100-percent of the more than 5,000 inbox messages currently are spam. I had let Yahoo auto-renew the ad-free option, for 20 bucks a year, but no more. I cancelled at renewal earlier this week.

I’ve kept Yahoo for so long out of misplaced sentiment. My oldest, remaining Internet identity, is with the service—so ancient it’s three letters. But it’s time to move on; maybe in the near future I will just delete the three-letter ID and let go, rather than leave behind, Flickr.

Yahoo, one of the earliest and brightest dot-coms, is a Hellhole. It stinks of decay and neglect. The 1 billion active user accounts ravaged by hackers is a metaphor for the trendy neighborhood turned into gang-ridden slum. Verizon was, or maybe still is, buying Yahoo. Walk away, I say, unless Yahoo is willing to pay for the privilege of becoming part of the expanding VZN communications and media empire.

I close the year with two words: Adieu, Yahoo.

Photo: Public Domain

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears on BetaNews.