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Yahoo acquisition of LookFlow to add advanced AI to Flickr

Yahoo continues to pamper Flickr with yet another acquisition intended to boost the Web-based photo service: image recognition company LookFlow.

"We built LookFlow as an entirely new way to explore images you love — combining delightful user experiences with the latest advances in machine learning," co-founders Bobby Jaros and Simon Osindero wrote in an announcement.

Four years later, the startup is joining Yahoo, which LookFlow said shares its passion for experiences and technology that helps users discover and share images. "Our approach marries state-of-the-art AI technology with cutting-edge interface design to deliver a revolution in online search and discovery," the LookFlow LinkedIn profile said.

Going forward, LookFlow will live on via Flickr. "Fret not, LookFlow fans," the team said. "Keep an eye out for our product in future version of Flickr — with many more wonderful photos and all that Flickr awesomeness!"

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May, Yahoo unveiled a revamped version of its Flickr photo-sharing site as well as an updated Android app, and announced that it will provide every Flickr user with 1 terabyte of free storage. This fall, the company upgraded its iOS app with new camera tools, filtering options, and auto upload and auto-straightening functions.

In between updates, Yahoo picked up image-recognition startup IQ Engines, which will work with the Flickr team to improve photo organisation and search. IQ Engines's two APIs — SmartCamera and SmartAlbum — have already been integrated into retailers like Best Buy, Old Navy, and Tesco.

Image: Flickr (Zanastardust)