Snapfish by HP snaps up Motionbox

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Snapfish by HP, an online photo service, has agreed to acquire the video technology platform from Motionbox, Inc., a video sharing site with over 2.8 million members worldwide.

The move will allow Snapfish by HP to expand its existing video storage and sharing business, called Snapfish Home Video, which provides a single place to store digital photos and videos.. Snapfish by HP presently has more 85 million registered users in 22 countries and more than 10 billion unique photos stored online, according to the firm.

The Motionbox.com site will continue operating until August 10, 2010, although current Motionbox subscribers are being offered a free 30-day trial of the video service as a promotion.

“Video is a critical component of digital memory sharing today, and Motionbox’s technology will enable our Snapfish customers to create great personal video memories,” said Helen Vaid, General Manager of Snapfish.

Motionbox was established as a more secure alternative to YouTube that allows subscribers to store and share standard and HD video.  Features include: unlimited video storage, online editing tools, the ability to upload large video files, an HD player and full-screen playback,  and the ability to download videos to a computer or Apple iPod or create video DVDs and flipbooks.

Online photo sharing services have steadily increased in popularity, especially with the advent of better-quality cell phone cameras.  Earlier this year, the online social networking site Facebook acquired startup company Divvyshot, and integrated its technology into its own photo sharing site, which presently has more than 22.5 billion images, according to Facebook reports.

Five years ago, Yahoo! also bought photo sharing sight Flickr, and Google added the Picnik online photo editing site to its stable, which includes Picasa, in March 2010.

HP acquired Snapfish in early 2005, when the service had roughly 13 million registered users with the goal of offering its building a bridge between its photo and printing businesses. Users of its digital photo products could upload content to Snapfish – which was renamed Snapfish by HP – and then print selected photos, hopefully on HP color printers.   The service also offered subscribers the ability to order mugs and calendars with prints selected from their personal online portfolio.

In March, HP announced that it was opening its Snapfish application programming interface (API) to developers with Snapfish Publisher, as part of service’s 10-year anniversary.

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