And that's the thing: Flickr feels like a permanent home. While sharing is great, it turns out that as we progress in our digital lives, as we take more and more photos and share them more and more places, we eventually want to go back and see them again. (Which explains the popularity of services like TimeHop.) We want to revisit them. We want to relive them.
And I think that gets at why the web was so adamant about Yahoo saving Flickr. It wasn't just that we wanted yet another app update. It's that we didn't want to give up on what we already had. In short, we wanted to go home again.
I really want to see Flickr come back and do well, but I don't think I buy this impulse on any sort of mass level. The lack of a desire for a permanent home, and an accumulated and (inter)linkable public history of our online and offline lives seems to me to be one of the major ways in which the new web has passed us old-timers by.
That desire was a product both of our privilege, and of the unique conditions of the time, and I don't think it's coming back anytime soon. I'm not even sure I want it anymore, because I've seen how dangerous and depressing the new conditions of a corporatized, spammer/troll/abuser infested, government and employer surveilled, and mass-social web make it.
I might still be privileged enough that I could get away with most of what we used to in the early days, but few others are, and until those negative forces are neutralized, we won't have a neighborhood where enough people want to set down permanent roots and make a home to make such undertakings worthwhile.