Yahoo’s Flickr Photo Unit Pushes New Tools to Woo Users

Yahoo! Inc.’s Flickr online photo-sharing service is making its biggest improvements in two years with new tools to help more easily store, organize and search images, as the company looks to woo more users.

With the update, Flickr will automatically upload photos and videos from computers and mobile devices, reducing manual steps, Aditya Kashyap, product lead, said in an interview. The company also is making it simpler to share or edit images and will enable users to easily navigate by date -- or find photos based on categories such as landscapes and animals.

Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, more than two years into a turnaround, is investing in products such as Flickr to draw more users to its platform as it competes with younger rivals. Visitors to Flickr rose 15 percent in the U.S. in March from a year earlier, putting it at No. 3 among Internet photo services, according to ComScore Inc. Facebook Inc.’s Instagram was No. 1 and and social-image service was No. 2.

Flickr, which has 112 million registered users, is updating its service after Yahoo in 2013 offered a free terabyte of storage, or enough for about 500,000 photos. There are now about 11 billion photos on the feature with 11.5 million uploaded daily.

“We needed to double down on this,” Kashyap said. “We saw a great response from the market, and we’re just following that momentum.”

A new search feature enables users to quickly sort through photos by colors and size -- in their own collections or publicly available snapshots. The tool will help find images across more than 60 categories, Flickr said Thursday in a blog post.

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