AT&T, Yahoo Make a Picture Pact

AT&T  and Yahoo  unveiled a new
online photo service for users looking for a better way to share digital
pictures.

Aimed at broadband subscribers, AT&T Yahoo Photos allows
images to be tagged and shared from multiple devices, according to
the two companies.

Users can create Smart Albums,
or online “playlists” of photos that detect newly tagged photos and
automatically recognize and add tagged photos to online albums, the companies added.

And along with sharing digital photos online, users of the new AT&T Yahoo
Photos service can order prints for local pickup or create photo
gifts.

“AT&T Yahoo Photos enables users to spend less time maintaining
their photo collections and more time viewing and sharing them with
family and friends,” Will Aldrich, director of Yahoo Photos, said in a
statement.

Integrated with Yahoo’s e-mail and IM services, AT&T Yahoo Photos
includes much of the functionality of Flickr, a popular community-based service allowing users to share and comment on photo collections, according to an AT&T spokesperson.

“The new community-based photo features, such as photo-tagging, foster
user interaction in ways that weren’t possible before for AT&T Yahoo
broadband customer,” explained Kieran Nolan, AT&T Broadband vice
president, in a statement.

Yahoo bought Flickr in 2005 with a goal to improve the photo
services offered by the Internet search company.

Flickr’s popularity
has skyrocketed. Visits jumped 346 percent last year, according to
Nielsen//NetRatings.

And in July, Yahoo Photos had 11.5 million
total unique visitors and Flickr had 5.7 million total unique
visitors, according to CommScore.

While no formal integration between AT&T Yahoo Photos and Flickr is
planned, there will be some cross-pollination of features where it
makes sense, said Yahoo spokesperson Kim McIntyre.

The online photo-sharing market is only growing in popularity, with companies adding features to existing products to enhance their performance.

This week, Google  announced it acquired Neven Vision to improve ways in which people search for photos in Picasa, its digital photo management software.

Picasa also has a community feature that is similar to the AT&T Yahoo Photos’ Smart Albums feature.

An AT&T survey revealed most digital photographers
fall into five groups, the largest described as “Underexposed.”

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they leave
photos on their computers, not knowing how to share the pictures.

Other digital photographers include those that keep images in the
camera.

More photographers are bucking the trend, taking digital photos and
sharing them online, according to the survey.

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