Hello.com Comes with Googles Picasa

    July 26, 2004

There has been much discussion of Picasa, Google’s recently acquired digital image program. However, relatively few people are aware that another program comes quietly bundled with Picasa: Hello, a free peer-to-peer network run by the Pasadena-based company.

See what experts and professionals are saying about Picasa at WebProWorld.

Picasa users can access Hello directly through Picasa Although Hello is an instant messenger it is being promoted as a picture-sharing program. “Share pictures as if you’re sitting side by side,” the Hello.com website proclaims. The program overcomes firewalls to allow users to exchange images. Users are not required to have Picasa to use Hello.

Currently, if users search Google for Picasa, Hello.com appears at the top of search results. However, Google has been quiet about Hello, which includes a built-in blogger and other features.

Although WebmasterWorld forum members have given Hello good reviews so far, some people are still skeptical. Google is marketing Hello as a picture-sharing program, says “digitalv,” which is “mistake number one if [Google wants] to tap into the IM market.” Digitalv also added, half-jokingly, “On another note, could you imagine an actual Google instant messenger? AdWords would display based on our conversation subject.”

Yahoo, Google’s leading search competitor, is also taking a jab at photo sharing. With its Mobile Photos Upload service, Yahoo users can upload photos via cell phones, share digital images and create online photo albums.

“Bedlam” questions Google’s angle of approach, saying, “it’s beginning to seem like Google is trying to compete not with Hotmail and Yahoo, but with Apple.”

Another member, however, offered this note:

“Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and lots and lots of others are all going to make lots and lots of money with this. Compete? Heck, they’ll all be needed to meet demand.”

Discuss the latest search engine news at WebProWorld.com and contributes to the Insider Reports with her regular articles and interviews.