Yahoo integrates Flickr into travel portal

Yahoo! looks to be putting speculation about its future in the world of search behind it – at least briefly – by concentrating on integrating its suite of products, with travel seemingly a high priority.

The Flickr photo-sharing service, which many industry figures consider to be one of the most powerful Web 2.0 products around for travel, will become part of the Yahoo! Travel portal from this week.

The integration of the Flickr technology into the portal will allow users to search, view and contribute photos to the site.

Flickr last year also built a mapping system into the site to allow users to tag their images by location.

Yahoo! Travel in Europe, which runs as a separate unit from its counterpart in the US, has taken significant steps to incorporate many of the other products from the Yahoo! portfolio into the portal.

“We hope that the addition of this new service will inspire users in their travel choices and enable them to book with the confidence that they have fully researched their trip by viewing and reading both authoritative, licensed and user-generated content,” says general manager Tim Frankcom.

Another product that has received praise from unlikely quarters across the industry – including senior Google figures, who admit privately that Yahoo! is leading the way in some Web 2.0 services – is Yahoo! Answers.

The product is gradually being integrated into Yahoo! Travel, following its launch last summer, with content posted into the Hotel Guides section of the portal.

Nevertheless, the significant step of hauling Flickr content into Yahoo! Travel may go some way to appeasing critics of the US Internet giant.

“The great advantage of online photo-sharing is that it enables us to harness the true value of the online global community by allowing users across the world to communicate their experiences by posting and sharing photos,” Frankcom says.

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