It's been a busy day for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. First, she announced the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, a microblogging site which could give Yahoo the extra youthful punch it needs to boost revenue. Then, at 5 p.m. EST, she announced the company's newest investments in New York City and a complete redesign of the company's photo hosting site, Flickr.
Flickr will now host, and display, high-resolution images on its completely redesigned website, which displays all photos in a grid layout and makes sharing photos easier. The company also announced the launch of its new Android app, matching its capability with a recently updated iOS counterpart. Perhaps more significant, however, is the fact the company will give each user one free terabyte of storage to host their photos.
All of this, of course, is immediately available to Flickr users.
Yahoo bought Flickr for $35 million in 2005, though the company's management of the photo-hosting website has been the point of criticism for some time. This, obviously, is Mayer's response to those criticisms.
But Mayer also announced that Yahoo will open a new New York City office, which will host all 500 of the city's employees, save for Tumblr. The office, formerly belonging to The New York Times, also has room to hold another 200 employees.
What it means.
Today's plethora of Yahoo announcements suggests a new company which recognizes its biggest challenge today - getting reliable pageviews on its products - and is racing to address that challenge by grabbing a dedicated base of 18 to 24-year-olds from Tumblr and offering professional and amateur photographs a striking deal. It's also a direct shot at Facebook, Instagram and Google and the photo offerings made by those companies. Yahoo's Flickr could quickly retake its spot as the go-spot for photo hosting and storage.
It also means that Mayer, Yahoo's most effective CEO in years, may have made the company relevant once again. For a company which went through four CEOs in five years and laid off 2,000 employees in early 2012, that is no small task. Her management has also helped the company's stock rise from a meager $15 in May 2012 (Mayer's Yahoo tenure began in July 2012) to $26 today, matching Facebook's current stock value.
That may reinforce Mayer's vision for the company. Now with centralized office buildings on both sides of the continent, Yahoo can effectively run a rapidly changing company out of two of the biggest tech hubs in North America.