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Yahoo rolls out photo site beta

Limited beta of a new Yahoo Photos site will allow people to download high-resolution photos.

Yahoo is expected to launch on Thursday a limited beta of a new Yahoo Photos site that allows people to download high-resolution photos, tag shots with descriptors for easy search and comment on other peoples' images.

Yahoo Photos offers a more visually appealing user welcome page, with a list of the user's albums and albums of friends on the left, as well as larger images of recent photos. Users can drag and drop multiple photos at a time to rearrange them and easily rename them by pointing and clicking on the old name and typing in a new one.

Images are accompanied by additional descriptive information about each shot and are designated as private by default, Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of communications, community and front door at Yahoo, said at a briefing and product demo with reporters late on Wednesday.

The new site also features integration with Yahoo Mail, Messenger, Mobile and 360, giving users a universally accessible location for viewing photos that friends have shared.

"Yahoo has taken the technical sophistication developed at Flickr to the mass market," said Brian Bowman, vice president of community at Yahoo.

Flickr, which Yahoo acquired more than a year ago, is aimed at professional and serious hobbyist photographers who want to share their photos with others and create online communities, Bowman said.

Yahoo Photos, ranked by ComScore as the top photo site with 30 million users worldwide, is targeted at anyone who shoots pictures and wants a way to store, organize and share them with friends and family, he said.