DULLES, Va. & ROCHESTER, N.Y.- -July 31, 2001- America Online, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, and Eastman Kodak Company, today announced the launch of a new version of the "You've Got Pictures'' service making it even easier and more convenient for AOL's 30 million members to view, share and store photos online.
To celebrate the new version of the "You've Got Pictures'' service, AOL and Kodak have launched a national photo contest called MY TOWN in which the winner's hometown will receive a free concert with superstar recording artists the Bangles and Dream.
New enhancements based on feedback from AOL members include:
* Free unlimited photo storage online for active members who visit the "You've Got Pictures'' service at least every six months;
* One-stop picture sharing and storing, including pictures from film and digital cameras as well as scanners;
* Simplified design and navigation to make picture viewing faster and picture sharing easier; and
* A new pricing plan that makes it easier for consumers to drop off their film at participating Kodak retailers to order prints plus pictures online via the "You've Got Pictures'' service for a single low price ($8.99 manufacturer's suggested retail price; may vary by retailer).
To kick-off the MY TOWN contest, AOL and Kodak invited several celebrities--including Edward Burns, Melanie Griffith and Peter Fonda--to share a day in their lives through never-before-seen photographs. The "You've Got Pictures'' service will feature these photographs in an exclusive online photo gallery at AOL Keyword: MY TOWN. Starting today, consumers can bid on these pictures in a special auction event on eBay, with proceeds benefiting the celebrities' chosen charities.
Additionally, AOL members using the "You've Got Pictures'' service now have more options when printing their favorite pictures through the [email protected]
Internet photofinishing service. These new printing options enable consumers to easily share their pictures in more fun and creative ways, such as ordering reprints and enlargements of their favorite photos, including poster size, and creating photo gifts such as mugs and t-shirts.
Katherine Borsecnik, President of AOL Brand Programming and Product Operations, said, "AOL has become the world's leading online service by listening to consumers and delivering the ease and convenience they want. According to a recent AOL/Roper Starch Cyberstudy, 92% of online consumers are interested in sharing photos online with friends and family. With improved features and simplified pricing, the enhanced 'You've Got Pictures' service makes getting your photos online and sharing them with friends and relatives even more fun and convenient.''
"The introduction of the new and improved version of the 'You've Got Pictures' service marks an important milestone in the evolution of photography. More consumers than ever before are looking for ways to email their pictures and the 'You've Got Pictures' service makes sharing pictures online easier than ever before,'' said Bruce Swinsky, President, Consumer Imaging, US and Canada, Eastman Kodak Company. "AOL's 30 million members can now simply take pictures as they always have, and then easily turn film into pictures they can share online with friends and family.''
AOL members can take pictures with any traditional film or digital camera. Film users drop off a roll of film at participating Kodak retailers, including their local CVS pharmacy, and simply check one box for prints plus an upload to the "You've Got Pictures'' service. Their prints and negatives will be ready for pick-up at the retailer as usual and also will be delivered directly to their AOL account. Digital camera users can now upload their pictures directly to the "You've Got Pictures'' service using the new, easy-to-use multiple upload feature.
The "You've Got Pictures'' service is a key example of how images and the Internet have come together to provide customers with more ways to take, store, share and print pictures than ever before.
MY TOWN Photo Contest Highlights Launch of Enhanced Service
As part of the launch of the new version of the "You've Got Pictures'' service, AOL and Kodak also announced today the MY TOWN(1) national photo contest, which runs from July 31 until September 4, 2001. To participate in the contest, AOL members are asked to submit photographs that demonstrate what makes their hometown special in the summertime.
After the field is narrowed to six finalists, members will vote on a winner, whose hometown will win a free concert later this year featuring legendary, multi-platinum recording artists the Bangles--best known for their mega-hits "Manic Monday'' and "Walk Like an Egyptian''--and breakthrough girl group Dream--currently topping the charts with hits including "He Loves U Not'' and "This is Me.''
In addition, both bands have taken photos from their home turf and life on the road that will be shown on the AOL service, offering members an exclusive look at life through the eyes of these music stars. Complete details and official rules for the contest are offered at AOL Keyword: MY TOWN.
To help kick off the MY TOWN contest, AOL and Kodak asked top Hollywood celebrities to share a day in their lives through photography. The "You've Got Pictures'' service will offer a sneak peek at dozens of never-before-seen photos taken by or featuring Edward Burns, recently seen in Saving Private Ryan and 15 Minutes, and writer, director, producer and star of the upcoming Sidewalks of New York; distinguished film actress, producer and activist Melanie Griffith; and legendary actor Peter Fonda, star of the upcoming HBO Films production The Laramie Project and the upcoming film Wooly Boys.
Selected, autographed versions of these photos will be available for purchase through an auction event on eBay beginning today, with all proceeds benefiting the celebrities' chosen charities including National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Burns), Follow Your Heart (Griffith) and Montana's Livingston Memorial Hospital (Fonda).
Featured on AOL 7.0, the Newest Version of the AOL Service
The new "You've Got Pictures'' service is at the heart of a range of AOL initiatives to provide consumers with the most valuable and convenient online experience possible. The upgraded photo-sharing tool is a key feature of AOL 7.0, the new version of the Company's flagship service that will be released later this year.
As with all of AOL's features, the "You've Got Pictures'' service will continue to grow to offer AOL members even more ways to enjoy and use their pictures and share special moments with friends and family.