Yahoo Flickrs Photos Into Search
Image search isn't just for the Yahoo index anymore; images posted to the Flickr photo sharing service will now show up in searches on Yahoo.
In the palatial lead-lined offices of WebProNews headquarters, your friendly neighborhood scribes discussed black and white photography for a few minutes today. I had attached a trio of black and white postcards to my monitor. The pictures featured a huge collection of jazz players posing on a Harlem street, a Leibovitz shot of a very young Grateful Dead, and a misty night image of the Pont Neuf, taken in the 1930s.
We were talking about why black and white photographs have appeal. Jason Lee Miller suggested that the oeuvre strips away the distractions that a full color image can bring, and I'm inclined to think that is correct.
Looking for black and white photographs from among all levels of photographers became a little more rewarding with Yahoo's announcement today. Lingxian Ding posted at the Yahoo! Search Blog how the service now has Flickr integration:
Try searching for funny photos and you'll find hilarious and wacky Flickr photos of animals, kids, and signs. Searching for things that people think are funny is a good example of a query where combining what the community knows (and tags) with what algorithms can compute can lead to better search results.
If you are looking for striking photos, try searching for interesting photos. Sifting through these images makes me wish I could take a few months off to travel the world and just take pictures.
Searches that turn up results from Flickr will display them underneath the sponsored search results. This exposes more of the Yahoo userbase to the Flickr community. Images in Flickr tend to reflect the more dedicated focus of their photographers, and many are professional quality photos.
That exposure may not be highly desired by the Flickr community, though. Commentary from Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield appearing on Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection explained why it took time for Flickr to be integrated with Yahoo Search:
"We had been holding off on adding Flickr photos to Yahoo! image search's index until we had the opt-out system built since not including photos from people (who) don't want them in there seems a lot more important than including images from people who do want them in there.
In general, though it'd be good for Flickr (the business) if Flickr photos placed highly and were well-represented in the image search indexes, it often isn't what the people who use Flickr want. So, better to err on the side of caution."
Flickr image contributors have not been universally pleased at being acquired by Yahoo. We have to wonder what will happen if those contributors decide to opt-out of Yahoo's search en masse.
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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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