Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yahoo! PhotoMail is Brilliant!

PhotoMail Introduction

For those of you who have followed some of my writings on this blog about web based photo services, you know that this is quite an accolade for the new PhotoMail extension to Yahoo Mail. I have consistently been inpressed with Yahoo's attention to detail in their consumer services and MyYahoo is still my start page after many potential challengers have come and gone.

Yahoo! PhotoMail makes it effortless to compose a great looking email with pictures embedded in it and most importantly send them to the recipient in a thoughtful way. The recipient gets the pictures quickly because they are automatically scaled for email and they can click through to a larger version of the image.

In order to enable PhotoMail you first need a Yahoo! Mail Account, if you already have Yahoo Mail you need to download and install and extention (I didn't notice what type of applet it was but it installed on my SONY Vaio with XP Pro without a hitch) that enables you to select photos to include in your mail message from three locations:
1) Your Computer
2) Your Yahoo! Photos Account
3) From Yahoo! Image Search

Yahoo Mail must be set to compose in color & graphics mode which the installer will set for you.

They all work great. Once the photo are in your message, you can use the PhotoMail tools to pick from three different layouts, add borders (they include a really nice selection!) and change the labels.

The one thing that did set me back a bit was Option #3 above. We all know users right click on images from web sites and scavange images from the web all the time. This feature searches the web for other people's images for you and lets you include them in your photo message with a simple click. No asking permission......... Now the embedded picture does travel to the recipient with the link back to the original preserved so I'm sure some owners/publishers of those images won't mind - others, who knows?

In summary, Yahoo! has just taken something all the research says most digital photographers want to do even more than print - that is email pictures to friends and family - and they have made it easy for the sender and the recipient. Flickr is great for the enthusiast and "social photographer" but this new Yahoo PhotoMail service goes right for the heart of the masses and I predict it will get a ton of use!