Sprint and AT&T Both Move on Moblogging
By Eric Lin, Wed May 05 22:15:00 GMT 2004
Sprint has made a change on the front end, adding a new "moblog this?" dialog box on its new Samsung A680 Videophone. AT&T has announced a deal on the backend, giving subscribers access to Yahoo! Photos accounts.
In a quick review of Samsung's new A680 for the Sprint network, Mobile Burn exposes a new function built into the camera application. As soon as the user snaps a picture, he is immediately asked if he would like to send the photo to an online photo album hosted by Sprint. Moblogging has been available on Sprint cameraphones, however this is the first model where it has been given such prominent placement.
Infosync has details on the deal AT&T recently announced with Yahoo! Photos. For a monthly fee of $2.99, subscribers will be able to download an application that gives them access to their pictures stored on Yahoo! Photos. They will be able to see and share the photos, as well as transfer them to their mobile phone for use as wallpapers or to show off in a slideshow from the application. The application does not include any way for subscribers to add photos to their Yahoo! Photos account from a cameraphone.
Although both carriers are making moblogging efforts, it's difficult not to conclude that Sprint has taken a step forward while AT&T took a step back (or sideways at best) when comparing the two. Sprint is now supporting moblogging with a one click interface, providing an simple, in-your-face interface after every shutter click. It might be a little annoying, but no user will be able to claim "I didn't know I could do that," or "It's too difficult." Sprint is turning moblogging into a service, not just an extra feature they can charge for. Ironically Sprint will probably make more money from picture messaging by doing this.
Yahoo!'s software for AT&T has chosen to view online photos as yet another service to charge for, but not one to support. It's unlikely subscribers will pay an additional fee just to access their files on another device. Users can already join TextAmerica or a host of other free or very inexpensive moblogs and access their photos from a wap site as well as add to their moblogs right from the handset. Without a compelling way to create new content, or add features (beyond slideshows) that other moblog services can't offer, Yahoo! Photos feels like just another get rich quick scheme for AT&T that is doomed to fail.