No it’s not nearly as dramatic as say an announcement that says “We’re done getting binged in search” but it shows that the search game at Yahoo! may be getting more attention than we are used to. What it is is the use of Flickr photos that are licensed for free use through Creative Commons terms showing up in the image search function.
The Yahoo! Search blog (which, by the way is pretty sparse on talking about anything over the past six months) tells us
Today, we’re making it easier than ever to find and share photos on the web and mobile devices. Using Yahoo! Image Search, you can now easily find photos from Flickr that are available for re-use or re-posting under Creative Commons terms. (To learn more about Flickr’s Creative Commons rules and attribution policies, please click here.)
Tens of millions of photos are now yours to search and share, courtesy of all the amazing photographers in the Flickr community.
The key is to make sure you open the left rail search options then click on the “Labeled for Reuse” link. Unfortunately, maybe Yahoo! is suffering from the some of the same “Engineered by engineers for engineers” mentality that Google struggles with from time to time. In other words, unless you are ‘in the know’ you may not have a clue that this exists OR wouldn’t know to click to open the left rail etc etc.
The feature is available across all mobile devices and there is a level of caveat emptor as the warning exists that if you are going to actually reuse the pictures you better make sure that they are truly available for reuse for free.
Hey, you gotta start somewhere right?