Yahoo! Photos to leave beta today

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The market leading Yahoo! Photos is launching the new version of its site today, we had screen shots in a February post. The beta version of the site came online in June. The new version of the site includes tagging of photos, smart folders, ajax drag and drop photo organizing, single click tag editing and a simple photo editor. Storage space in Yahoo! Photos is free, though early users of the new system are reporting that there is still a 300 image limit to albums and a 5MB limit to individual photo size. The new site will be limited to US users for now but will roll out to users around the rest of the world in coming months, according to InfoWorld’s coverage.

Yahoo! Photos is reported to have 30 million users, while Webshots and Photobucket have 19 million users and Flickr approximately 2.5 million.

Accounts at Yahoo! Photos are free and will be monetized by advertisements and printing options. We reported in February that users will be able to pick up prints at Target stores, as Flickr users can, and presumably by postal mail as well. Mobile use of the system will also be featured in a partnership with AT&T.

Today may also be the day that Yahoo! Photos unveils its long awaited API. The company has said for months that it was on its way. The huge user base of Yahoo! Photos could make it a particularly appealing target for outside developers, though the fact that the user base is largely made up of non-early adopters could mitigate that excitement.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction to features like tagging and ajax is by the huge base of non-early adopters Yahoo! Photos. The company has said that some integration of Yahoo! Photos with Flickr will be forthcoming but that the sites will not be merged together due to the different types of users for each.

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