Kodak divisions are falling left and right as the company struggles to claw its way out of bankruptcy protection. After killing off its camera business and selling off its film business earlier this year, Kodak announced today that it will shortly be pulling out of the consumer printing business in order to focus on commercial printing.
Good news, Flickr fans: new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is paying attention to your service, and is planning to make it a big part of her plans to turn the company around. Mayer will be holding her first “all hands” meeting tomorrow, during which she will reveal her plans on how to fix the beleaguered web pioneer. Among these plans are an emphasis on user experience over advertising revenue and special attention given to Flickr. Kara Swisher of AllThingsD writes,
It’s all based around learning technology that Yahoo has been working on called CORE, or Content Optimization and Relevance Engine. There will be lots of linking out and an attempt to make Yahoo more of a platform for others to develop on top of.
It’s a little Facebook-like, said several sources, but more focused on content and other products that differentiate Yahoo. Mayer has decided to back 10 key arenas, such as its powerful Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports sites, as well as its Flickr photo offering.
[…] In addition, Mayer has already ordered the removal of some ads from both Yahoo’s email service and also its home page, cutting them back to improve the consumer experience. That’s a dicey move since Yahoo makes a big chunk of change from those ads, especially on the home page.
It seems like Mayer is paying heed to the Internet’s polite request for her to “please make Flickr awesome again.”
The final hurdles have been cleared, and Instagram is now officially part of Facebook. The startup’s 16 employees will be relocating from San Francisco to Facebook HQ in Menlo Park. In an announcement released through its newsroom, Facebook reaffirmed its commitment to keeping Instagram running as a standalone service:
As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Instagram will continue to serve its community, and we will help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure. We also can’t wait to work with the talented Instagram team to improve the mobile experience.
There will certainly be more resources available at Instagram founder Kevin Systrom’s disposal: the photo sharing app is being taken in by a company with roughly 4,000 employees and legions of world class software developers.
It’s a sad day for film photographers: Kodak has announced that it will sell off its camera film business, one of the huge pillars of what made Kodak Kodak in the eyes of consumers around the world. It’s yet another step in the company’s effort to climb out of bankruptcy, which it hopes to do by next year, and transform itself into a commercial printing company.
Businessmen around the world are watching Facebook’s plummeting stock closely, but perhaps none more so than the folks over at Instagram. The world was shocked back in April when Facebook agreed to purchase the tiny startup for $1 billion, but one key fact is that the price was to be paid in a mixture of cash and stock. Due to the decline of FB stock, hundreds of millions of dollars have been wiped from the purchase price, which is currently valued at somewhere between $700 and $800 million.
Before Instagram, there was Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic was one of the pioneers and heavyweights in the retro filter photo app space, but when Instagram came along, the price advantage (free vs. $2), ease of use, filter selection, and built-in social network allowed Instagram to turn into the new 800 lb. gorilla of mobile photo sharing.
The story is strangely similar to the history of Myspace and Facebook, and yesterday the narrative became even more identical. On the same day that Instagram rolled out version 3.0 to its 80+ million members, Hipstamatic laid off all but 5 of its core staff.
Remember that new Flickr account we reported on yesterday that appeared to be owned by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer? Turns out it actually wasn’t her, and was quickly taken down after becoming a big story in the blogosphere.
TechCrunch reports that Mayer actually does have a Flickr account — one that’s set to private.
My mind is a strange and dangerous place. I shouldn’t go in there alone after dark. But the other night I was thinking, just me and myself, about all the new camera releases this year. Which had made the biggest impact? Was it the Canon 5D III with that world-class autofocus system? The Olympus OM-D bringing mirrorless cameras up a notch in image quality and usability? Should I mention the excellent Samsung NX20, just because no one knows it’s really good? Give the Fuji X-Pro an award for best concept most poorly carried out? Consider the Sony NEX-7 for putting full-frame resolution on an APS-C sensor?
The business world let out a collective gasp when it was announced back in April that Facebook had agreed to acquire Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Eric Savitz of Forbes points out that photo publishing company Shutterfly — which has the same market valuation as Instagram — may actually be a smarter buy:
Shutterfly this year is expected to post $582 million in revenue, up a gaudy 137% since 2009. As of the end of March Shutterfly had zero debt and $144 million in cash with another $100 million due to flow in this year. At a market cap of nearly $1 billion, Shutterfly is being told by the stock market that it is worth the same as Instagram, which being acquired by Facebook for $1 bil- lion in cash and stock. While Insta- gram has far more users (30 million), it lacks a few business essentials such as revenue, profit and scale. Instagram has about a dozen employees. Shutterfly, with 1,000 employees, produces photo books, prints and other goods in factories in Phoenix and Charlotte.
An interesting fact from the article: by 2015, Americans will take an average of 322 photos per person per year, or roughly a photo a day.
Leave Instagram To Facebook: Shutterfly Is The Better Buy [Forbes]
Image credit: shutterfly by kate at yr own risk
Those of you who were hoping that all of the Facebook/Instagram acquisition talk would end may not get a respite as soon as we thought. Although the original acquisition papers from Facebook stated that they would try to close the deal in Q2, a rumored Federal Trade Commission (FTC) competition probe may delay that closure by up to a year.
As of right now there’s no evidence that the probe poses any viable threat to the acquisition itself — apparently they’re quite common for deals over $66 million — but the inevitable red tape would add some serious delay to the whole matter.
Unfortunately, it looks like we may have to wait on that Instagram Snap camera.
Image credit: FTC by vpickering