Yahoo Retools Photo Site with Beta

Yahoo released a limited beta of its Photos site on Thursday, with a redesigned front page, enhanced functionality, and easier searching of other user's images. Additionally, Yahoo now allows for users to comment on images and download high-resolution copies.

The company says it is the most dramatic upgrade in the site's nearly six-year history. "The new Yahoo! Photos is a next generation service that introduces innovations from across the Yahoo! network -- like tagging, search, and comments -- to a mainstream audience of thirty million and counting," said Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo!'s senior vice president of communications, community and front doors.

Yahoo's destination is ranked as the top online photo site by ComScore Networks. The company also owns Flickr, but Yahoo said that site is directed at the more serious digital photographer.

The Yahoo! Photos front page has been redesigned to allow a user to drag and drop to organize and sort their photos. A user can rename them as well as designate whether they would like the image to be private or public.

Additionally, the front page will provide space to bookmark the albums of friends for easy access.

Sharing through the Yahoo! Photos site is now possible, as well as through Yahoo's line of products, including Mail, Messenger, Mobile and social networking site Yahoo! 360. From there, users could leave comments on each image, similar to how MySpace works.

Additionally, the site has tagging functionality, and an open API to allow development around the platform.

While only a limited group would see the changes initially, the company has plans to make the beta site available to all users within the coming months.

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