The mighty Adobe have entered the social networking arena with a beta service called photoshop express.
Long time industry leaders Adobe, have always been ahead in photo manipulation and editing on the desktop and have even had desktop file storage and organization in the form of Adobe Photoalbum, but they have never realy competed with the likes of flickr, photobucket or picasa, until now that is.
The new services is currently in beta, and is so far limited to users in the US, but already has 16387 galleries (as on 29th march 08). It looks to be the kind of feature rich product you would expect from the "house of Adobe" .
The free package has a whopping 2gb limit,and the ability to link into your images from facebook, photobucket and picasa. While a little shallow in respect to its social networking capabilities, it more than makes up for this in its editing abilities.
Editing is split into 3 categories, basics, tuning and effects. Unsurprisingly, these give not only the standard abilities to crop and rotate that all of the online photo sharing sites offer, but also the ability to do some very high end manipulations (for a free on online service), adjusting the hue and saturation, white balance, sharpness, soft focus etc, then there are the effects with everything from tinting and pop colour to stetching and distortion effects and its all surprisingly each to usel.
The gallery side of thinks is pretty standard, with the ability to store your private images in my photos and share and manage them in the form of galleries. You can add background images to galleries and you can choose to download, email or embed images which are all nice features, There is also a favourites feature and a basic search facility,but at present there doesn't seem to be much in the way of commenting, groups or blogs.