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Yahoo snaps up LookFlow to improve Flickr

Yahoo snaps up LookFlow to improve Flickr

Five LookFlow engineers will be joining Yahoo's Flickr team in San Francisco

Yahoo has acquired LookFlow, an image recognition company, as part of a plan to improve photo discovery on Flickr, Yahoo announced Wednesday.

LookFlow's technology uses machine learning to help people find and explore images. It's a goal shared by the team at Yahoo's Flickr photo-sharing service, LookFlow said on its website.

Five engineers at LookFlow -- and the technology they built -- will be brought to Yahoo's Flickr business in San Francisco, a Yahoo spokeswoman said in an email. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LookFlow's product will be incorporated into a future version of Flickr, LookFlow said. The company said it will also help Yahoo build a new "deep learning group."

Yahoo recently made some radical changes to Flickr, including a slickly designed photo layout and a free terabyte of storage, to "make it awesome again." It was just one of many redesigns and new product launches aimed at a larger reinvention for the company.

Flickr has roughly 90 million users, Yahoo has said. And a terabyte of storage can accommodate 530,000 high-quality photos, so it makes sense that Yahoo would want to make all those photos easier to find.

Flickr also has a US$499-a-year paid option, to give users 2 terabytes of storage.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


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