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Yahoo refreshes Flickr and grants all users 1TB free storage

Yahoo on Monday unveiled a revamped version of its Flickr photo-sharing site, a new Android app, and announced that it will provide every Flickr user with 1TB of free storage.

On the heels of its $1.1 billion (£724 million) acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo also ditched its old Flickr interface for photos that fill the screen, scroll endlessly, and are - as CEO Marissa Mayer said at a New York press event - "heart-stoppingly beautiful."

Photos will be uploaded in full resolution, Mayer said. "When you upload [and] share your photos, you don't lose any fidelity," she said.

According to Adam Cahan, senior VP of mobile and emerging products at Yahoo, Flickr had become about words, little images, and blue links. "Flickr really was not about the photo anymore," he said.

With the update, "we wanted to bring together a photo-centric world," Cahan said.

Mayer said Flickr had "languished," but said the service is now "awesome again."

The new Android app, meanwhile, "allows your photos to be wherever," Mayer said. "Wherever you are ... you can upload and share your photos; Flickr works on all major platforms."

The updated app is similar to the iPhone app that Yahoo launched in December in that it "maintains your photos' original quality, so every image you take, edit, share, or view on your phone or tablet looks spectacular," Yahoo said.

The new app is available now in the Google Play store.

None of this is particularly helpful, however, if you can't store a lot of photos. To that end, all Flickr users will now have 1TB of free storage. That, according to Cahan, will support 537,731 photos in full original quality.

When asked why Yahoo would want to offer that much storage, Cahan said that "we just wanted honestly, to say unlimited. We never want you to ever think about that."

Mayer said engineers are working furiously to make sure the Yahoo data centres can handle all those extra photos.

Mayer confirmed that the updates mean the end of Flickr Pro. "We didn't want to have Flickr Pro anymore" because everyone can create professional-level photos with today's camera technology, she said.

Those who need more, however, can purchase another terabyte of storage.

On the Tumblr acquisition, meanwhile, Mayer reiterated that she has no plans to change the blogging site right now. When asked if Yahoo plans to censor or remove the adult content on the platform, Mayer said "we don't intend to."

"Almost all" sites like Tumblr have "issues with adult content," Mayer said, and in some cases, Tumblr has less than its rivals. Community tools like the "NSFW" (not suitable for work) tag can help filter that type of material, so that "people who want it can find it, [and] those who don't" can avoid it, she said.

Tumblr will remain at its New York City headquarters. But Yahoo has also signed a lease for an office at 229 West 43rd Street, which used to be home to the New York Times. Yahoo will have all 500 of its New York area employees in that building, with room for 200 more.