Yahoo Launches PhotoMail Beta

Yahoo on Thursday rolled out a beta version of a new service called PhotoMail, which will allow users to put up to 300 pictures in a single e-mail and provides unlimited storage space for users.

The company says that the new application will simplify the process of adding photos to messages. Since there is a higher limit to the amount of photos that can be attached to e-mail versus rivals Hotmail or AOL Mail, Yahoo says it is providing more freedom in mailing photos.

PhotoMail users will be able to perform basic edits they upload to the service. For example, a user could rotate a picture to make sure it displays it correctly for pictures taken in landscape view.

Since only thumbnails of the pictures are sent in the actual e-mail, there is little chance that an e-mail would be rejected due to size limitations of incoming e-mail. Each thumbnail is only about five kilobytes. The larger versions of the pictures would reside on Yahoo's servers.

Use of PhotoMail requires Yahoo's Web based mail service. Drag and drop functionality will allow the user to drag an image from his hard drive into a small application offered by Yahoo, which will create the e-mail.

Yahoo hopes that PhotoMail lures more users to its properties. Currently, Yahoo has the largest Web-based e-mail service, with 64 million monthly users. AOL and Hotmail are a close second and third, according to ComScore Media-Metrix.

Also announced Thursday by Yahoo was the introduction of its Web mail service in six additional countries: Poland, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.

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