June 15, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

FAQ: What to do with your Yahoo photos

It's time to find a new home for the more than 2 billion pictures stored on Yahoo Photos.

Even though the Internet company just refurbished Yahoo Photos with a glitzy new interface, it's shutting down the site beginning September 20.

The move shouldn't come as a surprise, given Yahoo's 2005 acquisition of photo-sharing powerhouse Flickr. But it does mean that millions of members will have to take action in the coming months if they want to preserve the pictures stored at the site--and that means things could get complicated.

Yahoo just fired up tools to let customers move their photos elsewhere, and CNET News.com has compiled some questions and answers to help users of Yahoo Photos understand the situation and make the right choices.

Why is Yahoo Photos shutting down?
Flickr, not Yahoo Photos, is where all the Web 2.0 action is. Where Yahoo Photos was largely a repository for printing and sharing photos, Flickr's roots and attraction lie in more dynamic social activities--for example, commenting on pictures or joining with like-minded photographers into groups focusing on topics such as missing persons, high dynamic range photos or mating insects.

"People are changing the way they use photography, and we have decided to shift our focus accordingly," the company said in a statement Thursday. "Photography is quickly evolving from its original purpose as a means to preserve memories into a social activity that allows people to communicate and connect."

What should I do to preserve my photos?
Yahoo on Wednesday launched tools that can move your photos to Flickr or four other sites: Shutterfly, Hewlett-Packard's Snapfish, Kodak's EasyShare Gallery and Fox Interactive Media's Photobucket. In addition, Yahoo has signed up with Englaze to burn photos onto CDs for $6.99 per disc, not including shipping. If you don't have other backup, that's probably not a bad idea, regardless of what else you do with your photos.

If you don't already have copies on your own computer, you can download your photos one at a time, but Yahoo has no option for doing so in one fell swoop..

Which site should I pick?
It depends on your needs. Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly and Snapfish are geared toward printing photos, so those services should look more familiar to Yahoo Photos users. Photobucket is widely used for hosting images that appear on blogs and sites such as Facebook or MySpace.com. Flickr's raison d'etre is photo sharing and social networking, but it offers traditional print services as well.

Are these sites offering incentives to join?
Yes. Yahoo estimates that more than 2 billion photos are stored at Yahoo Photos, so it's no surprise other sites want to grab as much of the spoils as they can.

Shutterfly offers a free 8x8-inch photo book to Yahoo Photos members making the switch. Kodak Gallery offers 20 free 4x6-inch prints to those who join. Snapfish offers 50 free 4x6-inch prints. Flickr offers three months of free "pro" status, which offers consumers some perks beyond the regular free accounts and that costs $25 per year. Yahoo members who have Verizon and AT&T broadband subscriptions will get free pro accounts for as long as they subscribe.

Yahoo may not like Google much, but I do. Can I move my photos to Picasa?
If you're keen on Picasa, Zooomr, Webshots--which is owned by CNET Networks, publisher of CNET News.com--or photo sites elsewhere, you'll have to upload your photos yourself. For the automated migration, Yahoo selected Shutterfly, Snapfish, Photobucket, Flickr and Kodak Gallery "as the best fit for our users" after "evaluating user and industry research."

See more CNET content tagged:
Shutterfly, Snapfish, Flickr, Yahoo! Inc., Photobucket

8 comments

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YAHOO.........? WHOOO.......?
The question is more "what to do with Yahoo!"
It appears most of the high placed experts/managers are leaving,I personally have a grudge against their search engine which picked out places I had never been on the web and inserted them in their search results given under my "alias", the "Yahoo" groups area is a catastrophy,The once upon a time EXCELLENT "Flickr" programme is almost unusable because of the complicated "log-in" procedure imposed by Yahoo, and all in all, I wouldn't use Yahoo at all, except - strangely - their "home page personalised" service is actually the best from Google/MSN/Yahoo - but for how long?
I've already stopped using "Flickr", with systems as good as "Picasa" around, who needs it?
It would be nice, and competitive, to have an alternative to the Google system, but frankly, the only other possibility is still MSN.
Shame-but I think I'll just let my Yahoo photos disappear, but WOE OH WOE if I see them turning up elsewher on the Web!
Posted by mrlemarquis (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is exactly why...
I haven't yet posted any of my photos online yet. No matter how big the brand name, you have no way of knowing whether one day they will shut you down for whatever reason.

I keep master copies of all my digital photos (taken at maximum quality setting for my camera) on my hard drive.

I back everything up to an external hard drive which I keep at my mom's house, in a fire retardent safe.

When I have time to buy web hosting, build a family website with selected photos and point my domain name to it, then I will post my photos online.

I realize many users are not quite savvy enough to take all the above steps; and it's a pain in the rear end, but that's my two cents worth for today.
Posted by brichard (314 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Migration is one step only.
Although it sucks that yahoo photos is closing and we have been forced to move all photos to other services it seems that migration process is very intuitive and only one step. Can't complain about that. I didnt' know it was closing until I logged into yahoo photos and then they didn't have migration process noted anywhere at the time.
But, some time last week I noticed they had buttons in yahoo photos that would let you migrate photos to other services. Since I already had Flickr and Kodak accounts it was very easy for me. It did take 2-3 hours (in the background) to migrate all my 2000 photographs. And, I was notified via email once it was complete. On the plus side I got additional 3 months of flickr pro account. For me it was worth spending 10 mins.
Perhaps it took less time for me to move my photos than reading this story and other users' expeirences and writing my own.
Good luck!
Posted by niravabhavsar (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Let me knw
hey can i know where these buttons to mirate the photos are located please let me know?
Posted by mythu (1 comment )
Link Flag
winkflash.com
I've had it for years. It's free and I have tons of photos on the site. The price for printing and shipping is also pretty cheap.
www.winkflash.com
Posted by hdansky (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
www.imagestation.com
Yeah, sucks to Yahoo! Photo users. Even though I have a Yahoo! Photo account but I never used it (I only have 1 album). I always used Sony Imagestation when they were free for over 10 years since I was in high school. Now they charged $4.99USD/yr for their Silver plan. That's why I had the Yahoo! Photo created but was too lazy to move over 1000 pictures to Yahoo! plus $4.99/yr was not much and am happy now that I didn't make the switch back than. I don't print much so it's not a bad deal and I live in Canada so will never print from them anyways. I used either Futureshop or Walmart for printing.
Posted by yeungj (26 comments )
Link Flag
Free Flickr Pro for DSL subs?
"Yahoo members who have Verizon and AT&T broadband subscriptions will get free pro accounts for as long as they subscribe."

Is this true? I haven't been able to verify this anywhere.
Posted by AwesomeSpaceMonkey (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
AT&T users not given same Yahoo Photos migration option HELP
While regular Yahoo Photos users are given a variety of options, as a reward for our monthly fees, AT&T Yahoo customers can't migrate to anything but Flickr which is not a viable alternative in my book.

I have been told by AT&T Technical Services "the option to switch to Snapfish is available for regular Yahoo! users only. At this time, Flickr, is the option available for AT&T Yahoo! users"

Is there any way to get AT&T to change or make exceptions to this less than customer friendly policy? Or notwithstanding that is there any way to transfer the photos under my AT&T Yahoo Photos account to a regular Yahoo Photos account, so that I may then migrate them to Snapfish?
Posted by biverson1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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