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AOL: Pictures for Free

The picture of AOL's content strategy got a little clearer today when it launched a revamped, free photo-sharing Web site.

AOL Pictures, originally launched as You've Got Pictures in 1998, allows unlimited online digital photo storage in the original resolution. The new version has been getting a makeover for nearly one year, and, as of today, provides a comprehensive digital photo solution for consumers who want a simple way to view, share, store, print and protect all of their images, the company said.

David J. Liu, vice president and general manager of AOL.com, said that making AOL Pictures a center point around which social networking of the company's AIM services can be integrated was an important step in fostering the continued growth of the AOL.com portal. blogs.

Liu said the social networking integration includes the ability to share photos from within communications features including AOL Mail, the AIM service, AOL Journals and AIM Blogs. The AOL Member Directory enables consumers to share individual photos and photo albums from e-mail, instant messages and blogs.

"We are deeply integrating services in these features," he said. "People want a holistic service."

The service, which has more than six million monthly visitors and stores nearly 300 million photos, builds on AOL''s infrastructure.

It is available free to anyone on the Internet through the AOL.com portal, and a special holiday promotion is now offering each user 100 free 4x6 glossy or matte prints.

The upgrade, which was a complete rebuild job from top to bottom, includes Unlimited Photo Storage that lets consumers upload their digital photos where they can be viewed and shared with anyone on the Web. Users can also save photos received via AOL Pictures to the PC hard drive in full original resolution.



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