BP : Flipping to Flickr

A corporate image library is moved off-site.

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The feature

BP, the UK-based oil giant, has moved its entire online image library off site. BP no longer has an image library on its global website. The Images and graphics area in the Press section now consists of a forwarding page to a collection on Flickr, the Yahoo!-owned photo and video sharing service. The page has thumbnail mosaics of four of the ‘collections’ available on the Flickr site (for example, BP people, BP operations); clicking on any of them as advised in the page introduction launches the corresponding gallery index within the BP images library in Flickr. The introduction provides advice on Terms of use and explains the images are organised into “logical collections and highlighted on a map using geotagging”. An adjacent ‘flickr’ graphic link leads to the BP images landing page, from where Collections is not visible in the navigation menu; it is revealed in a dropdown from the ‘More’ option.

The takeaway

There has been a trend rather than a rush of companies taking out an image gallery on Flickr, but BP is one of the few (along with Novartis) to move its library there lock, stock and barrel. Doubts about Yahoo!’s long-term commitment to the site have probably held back those contemplating going the whole hog, so BP’s switch may signal a turning point in the exodus. What are the attractions? Cost, certainly, and it goes with a trend to move towards ‘the cloud’. But there are real benefits, too, particularly in the variety of file sizes and therefore resolutions Flickr allows users to download. No one can say Flickr is the easiest site to get around – nothing like as good as bp.com – but given that the service is aimed at professional picture and other editors, this should not be a big problem.

First published 25 April, 2013
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