Yahoo Inc. is introducing a test version of a new service called PhotoMail that lets users insert up to 300 digital photographs into the body of an e-mail and store an unlimited numbers of photos on the Web and media company's computers.
The company said late on Wednesday that users can also add borders and captions to photos embedded in the body of e-mails and can perform limited editing on them, such as rotating them or adjusting the size and quality of the image.
"Photo sharing is enormously popular and thought by many to be too complicated," said Andy Spillane, vice president of Yahoo mail in an interview.
Other Web-based e-mail services require users to send photos as attachments and there are often limits on how many attachments and how much data can be attached to an individual e-mail.
According to Yahoo, PhotoMail is the first such service to integrate and simplify its e-mail offering, its online photo storage and editing service and its image search function of more than 1.5 billion images, Spillane said, noting that senders simply drag and drop images that are stored anywhere on the computer's hard disk drive. However, Google has already developed an image-sharing project and it is expected to strongly compete Yahoo's proposal.
The images in the PhotoMail e-mail are thumbnails. Users can see larger images of the same picture in higher resolution by clicking on the image in the e-mail. The bigger image is then served up by Yahoo's online photo service.
Yahoo also said that Yahoo e-mail is now available in six more languages and localized sites in eastern Europe and southeast Asia, adding Poland, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.