Flickr Users Cry Foul as Yahoo Introduces New Toolbar


Yahoo can’t seem to catch a break where Flickr users are concerned. Just as everyone is coming to terms with the redesign that stirred a bit of an uproar on the Flickr forums, the company has introduced a new toolbar at the top of every page that has users upset yet again.

The new toolbar is similar to the Google toolbar you’ll find on the top of every one of its sites: it links to other pieces of the Yahoo! network such as Sports, Weather and News.

But for Flickr users who value their screen real estate, the change is an unwelcome one. Even photographer Thomas Hawk, who was an outspoken supporter of the new redesign even as the Flickr forums were bursting with complaints, has come out against the toolbar on his blog, calling the links “advertisements.”


According to CNET, the bar has actually been in the works for several months. Initially deployed to a select number of users as a “bucket test,” Yahoo watched as negative feedback poured in, but ultimately decided to go ahead with the change anyway.

In response to the criticism, Yahoo’s Thea Lamkin attempted to explain how this would be a positive change, “The idea is to make it easier to access other places in the Yahoo! network and make visiting Yahoo! pages a more seamless experience,” said Lamkin. “This also lets your photos benefit from a wider audience.”

Lamkin also explained that there is no official way to turn the toolbar off, so unless Yahoo goes back on this change, it looks like Flickr users are stuck with it.

To learn more and maybe read some of the feedback Yahoo has been getting regarding the new toolbar (fair warning: some of it is downright ugly), head over to the Flickr forums by clicking here.

(via CNET)

  • dnguyen

    Non-issue for me since I can’t see a bar.

  • Johnny Blood

    Flickr is becoming increasingly irrelevant. If this is how Yahoo is going to handle the rest of its properties, the company is doomed.

  • ChrisBlizzard

    I don’t use flickr enough to care any more (nothing to do with the redesign which I actually quite liked). BUT…
    “similar to the Google toolbar”

    No, it isn’t… because google have everything on the 1 bar. Flickr now has 2. Google made theirs look nice to complement the sites it’s on, the Yahoo one looks like something I’d have designed on geocities a decade ago… Plus, if you’re not a user of the other services, then yes, it IS advertising (it is on google too, but they’ve never charged anyone for an ad free experience…)

  • Disappointed

    Of course Yahoo “went ahead anyway.” They did the same thing with the new Yahoo email format, which is just awful (capabilities are gone /everything is harder to do / and it looks awful) – nut do they care? No! Nor will they care about the Flickr user.

    It makes one wonder if Yahoo is committing e-suicide. Adobe is doing it with the creative cloud. The newest thing is to ignore your users / customers.

    But we do have other choices.

  • Josh Zytkiewicz

    I’ve noticed that Yahoo! has been making a lot of small changes over the last few months. It’s getting very annoying not having a consistent interface. I think the sign out link has moved two or three times and depending on what service you’re on it’s located in different spots.

  • Alex Minkin

    well flickr, it was nice while it lasted. i’m voting with my pro subscription and moving on.

  • Renato Murakami

    I guess this says quite a lot about why Yahoo just can’t stay ahead of the business and why it seemingly can’t get relevant anymore.
    Stop trying to poorly copy your competition and start trying to come up with things of your own Yahoo! C’mon!
    The bar looks fugly, it breaks the all black Flickr redesign, and you have tons of people who never uses your services anyways. Let’s be honest here, the reason why the bar works for Google is because they have tons of cross-service users. You don’t.
    If you want to copy Google so much, at least take some clues. See how YouTube doesn’t have the Google toolbar? They shoved an icon at the right top corner for Google related purposes so it doesn’t get in the way of the design.
    If you want to force Flickr users on Yahoo services in any way, you should’ve opted for something less intrusive like that.
    Man, talk about a company that puts an effort on proving users how backwards-thinking they can be.

  • MrGubrz

    i HATE all the other yahoo sites… so id NEVER use that bar.. its just UGLY on top of my pretty photos…

  • Nthis

    I think it accompanies the site, and especially the multitudes of horribly taken photos on Flickr, quite well. An eyesore on a site where people show off their ‘eyesore’ photography.

  • Joe

    I’ve had this toolbar for a week or two. First time I see it… And any time I see it I complain to myself how utterly UGLY it is! It’s looks like simple, novice-coded HTML with zero design input haha

  • scum2

    Doesn’t appear to effect me. Thank god I pay for my services rather than expecting everything to be free for me like some begger on the street.

  • scum2

    Wow, yer I guess Google must be doomed to for when they did this exact same thing YEARS ago.

    Yer you know what you’re talking about, u Knob!

  • scum2


    Clearly CHRIS BLIZZARD hasn’t used G+ which is a massively successful tool from Google. If you had, you would realise they not only have 2 rows of menu’s, but they also have a big ass search box inbetween them. SERIOUSLY people do spout some utter BS without thinking on this site.

  • Stan

    Now add this to tumblr. Let’s see what happens.

  • Chris Pickrell

    “The idea is to make it easier to access other places in the Yahoo! network and make visiting Yahoo! pages a more seamless experience,” said Lamkin. “This also lets your photos benefit from a wider audience.””

    How does me clicking your links make other people see my photos? Also, no matter how much you force a toolbar down people’s throats, no one wants to use your site. No one ever did. That’s why you’re losing to Google and FB and other social sites now. Because you don’t listen to your users. You want to force them to use a site they don’t like, thereby making them like it less.

  • steven

    You having a bad day Scum? All your replies imply you might need to have your diaper changed, you’re grouchy. Maybe a nap would help?

  • 9inchnail

    The difference is that Google has been growing and growing while Yahoo has been on the decline for years. They’re digging their own grave with crap like this.

  • bill benson

    They have learned over the past weeks to just IGNORE all feedback and not respond. That, for me, is the most infuriating part of this forced awesome redesign.

  • rockportrait

    The is really only one solution. Somebody needs to buy Flickr so that Yahoo can get on with the business of dying, and we can get on with the business of sharing our photos happily.

  • oldtaku

    What the hell is positive about ‘mak[ing] it easier to access other places in the Yahoo! network and mak[ing] visiting Yahoo! pages a more seamless experience’? NOBODY wants that except Yahoo corporate. I want the opposite – how about a bar that’ll keep Yahoo from destroying good sites like they’ve been doing for at least ten years now.

  • O Webb

    It doesn’t really bother me at Ipernity.

  • Scott

    More rubbish from Yahoo. Pushing their useless and generally ignored services onto the vew small number of successful ones, trashing them in the process. Instead of enticing Flickr users to sniff the cesspool of Yahoo services to see if there is anything that isn’t complete crap, it will just push them away by ruining the interface. FAIL.

  • MI Photographer

    “The idea is to make it easier to access other places in the Yahoo! network and make visiting Yahoo! pages a more seamless experience,” said Lamkin

    But that’s just it. Many Flickr users barely tolerate the idea that Yahoo owns Flickr. We don’t want any Yahoo integration at all.

  • Keith D

    Are you people seriously complaining about that little bar on the top of your screen? Get over it. It really is not a big deal.

  • Bill Binns

    Damn I wish Yahoo would just sell Flickr to someone who wants to operate a photography site instead of a click farm. I would happily pay $100.00 a year for a slightly more customizable, ad free, Yahoo free Flickr.

  • Steven Wade

    “The idea is to make it easier to access other places in the Yahoo! network and make visiting Yahoo! pages a more seamless experience”

    Because people actually use Yahoo other than Flickr.

  • markx

    damn straight!.
    Yahoo must hate Flickr… hates it with a passion – to wantonly associate flickr with stuff like Yahoo answers (hint: don’t go there looking for answers unless the question is “how stupid are humans”) is deliberately tring to pucker up and give it the kiss of death.

    All I can say is that it is in fact mutual – I use flickr in spite of … and often to spite Yahoo as they bought it to access a pool of meta data so I do often mistag my images with bulk junk tags or place it somewhere else (often tens of thousands of klm’s away) to where it was taken on the map because their map data blows 10 types of chunks (the only reason Yahoo didn’t get publicly burnt for their map page is unlike Apple everyone knew it would blow, and blow hard)

  • marxz

    let me guess you browser toolbar is full of all those “useful” third party add-ons (hint get rid of at least the Altavista one, Yahoo killed that one off this week) and extends 1/3 of the way in to the window?

    others among us prefer a simpler aesthetic, something that doesn’t look like our browser window had a puppy throw up alphabet soup all over the screen

  • markx

    Yahoo do not care about the photos, they did not buy it for the photos or for their love of images, but for the rich metadata that Flickr users tag their images with, metadata they can mine and sell, mine and attach to their sucky sucky apps like Yahoo maps (that nobody uses and no company of real importance uses)

  • Mantis

    So Yahoo is using their Flickr property to help promote the rest of their network.

    It’s a free service, and a very good one at that. Go find another one or start your own competitor if you don’t like it.

  • A.J.

    This is false. Yahoo is currently the 4th most visited website in the world, behind only Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

  • Froggy

    You’ll be back.

  • Keith D

    I use Chrome with no toolbars. I just find it kinda sad when people go in a complete uproar over a toolbar. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Get over your 1st world problems.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    With its new layout and addition of instagram-like filters, Yahoo has made it clear that they want Flickr to appeal to the mainstream market and no longer want or care about the photography pros and advanced enthusiasts.

    Take it or leave it, that is where Flickr is going.

  • Adam

    So long Flickr. You were fun while you lasted. You’re not lasting anymore.

  • geeves

    If you use the greasemonkey, I wrote a script to hide this eyesore:

  • Reagan

    Install stylish and remove the bar. Seriously though, no one likes yahoo and mixing the two brands is a very very poor move on their part.

  • pgb0517

    Thomas Hawk has zero credibility after his rants against those of us who don’t like the new Flickr. I guess now that there is something he doesn’t like, it’s OK to complain. But this ad bar is horrible. I have almost quit using Flickr lately. It takes up less and less of my thoughts all the time.

  • someguy

    “Doesn’t appear to effect me yet. Thank god I’m dumb enough to pay for my services while the company I’m paying doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my money”

    fixed it for you.

  • Joe Han

    Good. Bye.

  • wayne.carroll

    Flickr sucks. Its always sucked. So who cares?

  • rockportrait

    Then why don’t you? I have been transitioning across to Smugmug slowly over the last 6 months. The only thing missing from that is a strong social aspect, but I can get that by using the inbuilt Facebook-share facility.

  • Shawn Parker

    Most browsers have a user stylesheet that can be used to modify the page. Find yours and add this to override the toolbar:

    body.with-eyebrow #eyebrow { display: none; }
    body.with-eyebrow { background-position: left top !important; }
    body.with-eyebrow #global-nav { top: 0 !important;}

    For example, on OS X using Chromium (the development build of Chrome), mine is located in: ~/Library/Application Support/Chromium/Default/User StyleSheets/Custom.css

  • Christopher Eaton

    What Yahoo fails to understand is that Flickr users likely do NOT use the rest of the “Yahoo Network” and don’t want to be reminded that Yahoo owns Flickr.

  • Jorge

    I cannot believe what Yahoo! is doing to this community, I strongly dislike the horrible bar on top of my pictures and as a paying Pro customer I feel that Yahoo has let me down with their ad bar (yes, ad bar because their bar does exactly what an ad does, promote their other sites which I have no interest in visiting). Very disappointing, I am looking for alternatives to move my 3.000 pictures. I regret having chosen Flickr.

  • Matt

    I don’t think you have checked it. I’m a paid subscriber as well and I have the new bar. It is pretty curde.

  • Matt

    That is kind of the point, you can’t get rid of it. At least not as an option with Yahoo.

  • Matt

    I got to kind of agree. But not a lot of options out there… Social media is not an option.

  • Bill Binns

    If I was going to move it would probably be to 500px but I feel lost over there. Smugmug and Snapfish would be the only other possibilities since I don’t want to waste my time migrating to a new service that won’t be around in two years.

  • Matt

    Are you not aware many people have subscribed to the Flickr Pro service? Even paying Pro users can’t get rid of the bar. Myself, I don’t object to Yahoo trying to incorporate its brand, but it should be less intrusive and better blend into Flickr’s design. And it should recognize paying customers don’t want to “help” users navigate away from their photos from some other Yahoo property.