Picasa Web Albums is Google's Web photo-hosting service. Users get 1GB of free hosting, and images can be uploaded and manipulated using Picasa, Google's free desktop photo management application. Users who want additional storage can shell out up to $500 a year to bump up the hosted space to 400 times the size of the free hosting service.
Much like everything else Google, Picasa is exceptionally straightforward to use, with a tabbed interface offering three options--My Photos, Favorites, and Explore--the last of which lets you browse the public photo library. Next to the tabs, you'll find a prominent Upload button for adding photos to your albums, which you can set to various levels of privacy. Within your albums, you have the option to view a slideshow, share via e-mail, make a collage or movie, order prints, and edit various aspects.
We really like the integration between the desktop and Web application. Similar to .Mac and iPhoto, Picasa makes it really simple to take photos from your desktop and publish them online for others to see. We're also fans of the built-in geotagging that lets you set where photos were taken either by single photo, or by entire albums. It's a great way to browse photos if you feel like exploring.
Transfer, find, organize, edit, print, and share images, all with this easy-to-use product. Watch Picasa automatically organize all your pictures into elegant albums by date. Having all your photos in one place means no more time wasted searching for folders or files. The program works with JPEG, GIF, BMP, PSD, and movie files and is compatible with most digital cameras; it detects your USB driver and imports pictures into albums. Editing tools include cropping (standard or custom), removal of red-eye, and enhancing--even switching from color to black and white. Create slide shows set to your MP3s. Integration with Picasa's free Hello instant picture-sharing software lets you share hundreds of photos in seconds and chat in real time. E-mail photos with Picasa's built-in client to take the guesswork out of compressing images, and order photo-lab quality prints or print at home with no mistakes. You can also make instant backups to CD (or to other hard drives) of your photo collections, to organize your photos using labels and stars (just like with Gmail), to write captions for all pictures, and to organize videos as well as pictures.