Google launches Picasa Web Albums – Flickr Killer?

Just in. Google has launched Picasa Web Albums. From the site:

Picasa Web Albums is Picasa’s newest feature, designed to help users post and share their photos quickly and easily on the web.

It’s available by invitation, along with the latest downloadable version of Picasa, and offers:

* One-click web upload using Picasa’s new “Web Album” button

* Free storage space to post and share approximately 1000 photos, with the option to upgrade to more space

* High-quality photos, automatically resized and optimized to fill available screen space

* Pre-loaded images enable quick scrolling using arrow keys, and mimic a desktop experience of “flipping” through photos, even on the web

* End-to-end photo management that makes it easy to download uploaded photos back to your computer

Quick facts

* Cost: The latest version of Picasa with the Web Albums feature is free. It’s also free to use Picasa Web Albums for posting, sharing and viewing photos.

* Access: You need an invitation to post and share photos on Picasa Web Albums. You can sign up for an invitation using your Gmail username. No invitation or sign-in is required to view a friend’s photos online.

* Storage: Each Picasa Web Albums account comes with 250MB of free storage space, or room to post and share approximately 1,000 wallpaper-sized photos (at 1600 pixels each). For $25.00 per year, users can get a subscription to an additional 6GB of storage – room to post and share approximately 25,000 photos.

* There are no ads in Picasa or on Picasa Web Albums

* Language: Picasa Web Albums and the latest version of Picasa with web uploading are supported in English only

* System requirements:
o Picasa: Windows 2000/XP, Internet Explorer 6.0+
o Picasa Web Albums Internet Explorer 6.0 (also works with IE 7 Beta 2), Firefox 1.0+ or Safari 2.0

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