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Yahoo Photos adds new Web 2.0 features

PHOENIX--With its purchase last year of the photo-sharing service Flickr, Yahoo signified that among other things, it takes seriously everything about online photos--sharing, storage, organization and more.

At the Demo '06 conference here Wednesday, the company showed that's true for its flagship Yahoo Photos service as well. With what Yahoo says is more than 2 billion hosted photos, the service is more than twice as large as its nearest competitor.

But now, Yahoo Photos is giving users a broad new set of online tools. In addition to being able to store all their photos online (meaning they won't necessarily need to keep them on a hard drive), users are now going to be able to quickly populate albums by dragging and dropping pictures.

In addition, borrowing from Flickr's huge success with tagging, Yahoo Photos is also going to allow users to instantly tag their images and then create smart albums based on those tags.

All told, the new features offered by Yahoo Photos makes the service easier to use. Still, devotees of Flickr and other photo- sharing sites like Smugmug and HeyPix will likely stick to what they know and love.