Yahoo! Unveils Flickr Overhaul, NY Office

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yesterday turned out to be a very busy day for the new Yahoo! .

First, the announcement, early on Monday that the Internet giant paid $1.1 billion to buy microblogging site Tumblr.

Then, late Monday afternoon Yahoo! gathered a very small number of journalists in a hotel overlooking Times Square to make another two big announcements - the leasing of new space for a Yahoo! New York office and a complete upgrade of the company's popular Flickr photo sharing service.

Yahoo! closed the day up 0.23% at $26.58.

The Times Square event was to emphasize the fact that a brand new Yahoo! office was coming to nearby 229 West 43rd Street, That address should ring a bell - it's the old New York Times building. Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer on stage to congratulate Yahoo! on its choice and to emphasize New York city's emergence as a major Internet development center.

But the big announcement was the relaunch of Flickr. The new service reportedly went "live" just in time for the big demonstration. What we saw looked very impressive.

First of all, Flickr pictures are now high resolution, which means all those little thumbnail representations of your photos are now HD and sized accordingly. In addition, there is now a new Android Flickr app to go with the iOS and Windows versions. Finally, Flickr users now have a full 1 terabyte of storage in the Yahoo! cloud - for free. The experts on stage estimated 1 TB would be good for more than 100 years' worth of photos for the average user.

On the off chance that someone would need more storage, Yahoo! will sell you some. They call that Doublr. You can also pay to get rid of the advertisements. They didn't disclose a clever name for that service, though.

And, as we sat there, outside our huge picture window a number of Times Square billboards immediately changed to full-screen Flickr photo ads. Another reason why we were squeezed into that very cozy room.

Lots of news from yesterday's announcements. And, we also came away with a feeling that Yahoo! is headed in a different direction under the leadership of Ms. Mayer. She seemed to inject new life into what had been a floundering company.

Whether or not you agree with all of her moves, at least she's trying. And, so far it looks like Yahoo! is heading back in the right direction.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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