Say cheese, Google
Picasa Web Albums is now being offered to members with Gmail accounts, allowing users to upload up to 250 megabytes of snapshots and share them with others. Busy shutterbugs can pay $25 a year to have as much as 6 gigabytes of storage, but the free account should be more than sufficient for most people.
Digital photography has come a long way. A few years ago, it was companies like Kodak
That has all changed over the last couple of years. Sites like Facebook, CNET's
So it's easy to see why Google has popped in. It has been known to show up fashionably late at times, but always does so with an attention-grabbing entrance. The surprise here is how it's practically tiptoeing in this time.
The moneymaker in digital photography is the page views? Well, Google is claiming that there will be no ads in the Web albums. The social-theater aspect of folks searching, rating, and tagging uploads is the virtual flypaper of the top photo-sharing sites? You won't find it here, because folks will need to know the URL to your Web album to find you, and you can always wall off your uploads as private.
This doesn't sound like Google. It's a guarded entry by a company that often favors noisy steps. I wouldn't be going out too far on a limb if I predict that that will change. Picasa Web Albums will be something entirely different and more magnetic in the future. It's the Google way. It's the best way to pose when taking your dot-com snapshot.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really can't remember the last time he bought a roll of film, thanks to digital photography. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this article. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.