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Yahoo unveils upgraded pic service

Internet giant Yahoo overhauled its online picture-sharing service to create a venue "for the masses" to share digital images with family or friends.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 12:17 IST

Internet giant Yahoo overhauled its online picture-sharing service to create a venue "for the masses" to share digital images with family or friends, the company announced on Thursday.

A beta version of revamped Yahoo Photos went online with select availability to allow a few weeks for fine tuning the service, according to Yahoo product manager Tim Anderson.

The unveiling of the enhanced Yahoo Photos came as the Sunnyvale, California, company intensified its battle with rival Google for devotees by becoming a place where online communities can build social networks.

Yahoo put its improved digital photo-sharing service on display at a downtown San Francisco art gallery on the eve of the announcement.

Yahoo Photos was modified to enable people to easily make "smart albums" with restricted access instead of allowing anyone on the Internet to view the pictures.

"Our users are the wired moms and dads who want to share pictures of their children, but don't want them in the public domain," Anderson said as he manipulated photos of a colleague's baby on a laptop computer in the gallery.

"This is for people who don't want to spend a lot of time making photos, but want to share them."

Tools for editing and organizing pictures were built into the site so people can categorize and finesse images uploaded to Yahoo servers.

Among the "Web 2.0" features that Yahoo said they were delivering was the ability to "drag-and-drop" pictures by clicking on them.

"We made this decision to take the largest Web photo-sharing service in the world and rebuild it," Anderson said.

Yahoo Photos boasted 30 million users worldwide and stored approximately two billion images for people online, according to Anderson.