I go visit Flickr every day, not just to see whether other people have shown any interest in my photographers, more to see what other photographers have posted. There are many quite exceptional photographers who use the Yahoo service, and have been using it for many years. Here I can gain inspiration as much as works open through a Creative Commons license for use on my blog. Over the last few weeks, since Yahoo really started kicking in with their marketing and advertising powers, I’ve noticed something which disappoints me, and I am sure I’m not the only one. Flickr is slowing down.
Photo Source: Mossy – Creative Commons
By slowing down I don’t mean the length of time it takes to perform a search or to upload photographs. What bothers me is the length of time it takes for the log-in page and then, once you’re in, the Explore page to load. Explore, as many will know, is a selection of photographs – or images since many recently have been graphic works rather than photography – which have appealed to the editors, or to a software program which picks out works considered above average.
The slowing down in both cases is caused by the web site trying to connect to its advertising sub-domain. I see it whenever I go to the log-in page: bottom right on Firefox is an indication of what is loading, and the first thing which appears is the adverts sub-domain. And it takes an age to load. Then, on the Explore it is much the same: I can see the photographs, but it takes an age to load the complete page because adverts are inserted.
Everywhere, from Google downwards, we see this idea that web pages, complete sites, should load quickly. The Internet is an immediate thing; if a site loads slowly, the visitors lose patience and move on. It only takes a few seconds, we are told, and Google measures in milliseconds when giving out its ratings. I have nothing against advertising on other sites – when it doesn’t ruin the whole experience – but do think that Yahoo, when it comes to Flickr, should perhaps consider the needs of their visitors too, and not just how to make an extra buck here and there.
- Viktoria Michaelis.