Hoping for something borrowed and blue, Time Warner's
For starters, BlueString provides five free gigabytes of storage for video, photo, and music files. Photobucket's free account provides just a fifth of that capacity, with metered bandwidth, and it won't touch the thorny copyright issues behind digital music lockers. Photobucket does have a more liberal policy on the maximum size of individual video files (100 megs vs. BlueString's 50 megs), though it limits the length of those videos to no more than five minutes.
Both sites offer tools to jazz up your media, though Photobucket's girth and seasoned grit have it striking deals with companies like Adobe
AOL may appear to be late to this game. Photobucket is housing 3.6 billion images at the moment. You also have sites like CNET's
BlueString is also packing some viral ammo with its StringIt feature, which allows invited family and friends to add to certain collections.
So what's in it for AOL if the site is free? Well, BlueString is offering premium accounts for $99 a year that increase the storage capacity tenfold. Time Warner also has plenty of advertisers that will come in handy when it's time to populate the site with sponsors. With all of the media being shared, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the company hook up with a photo-finishing specialist like Kodak
AOL is late to the party, of course. However, it's adding plenty of new wrinkles to the media-sharing genre to earn its shot at being fashionably late.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if branding a media-sharing site with the adult connotations of "blue" is the wrong approach. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.