Photo sharing is the publishing or transfer of a user's digital photos online, thus enabling the user to share them with others (publicly or privately). This function is provided through both websites and applications that facilitate the upload and display of images. The term can also be loosely applied to the use of online photo galleries that are set up and managed by individual users, including photoblogs. Sharing means that other users can view but not necessarily download the photos, users being able to select different copyright options for their photos.
While photoblogs tend only to display a chronological view of user-selected medium-sized photos, most photo sharing sites provide multiple views (such as thumbnails and slideshows), the ability to classify photos into albums, as well as add annotations (such as captions or tags) and comments. Some photo sharing sites, even small ones with only a few million photos, provide complete online organization tools equivalent to desktop photo management applications.
Desktop photo management applications may include their own photo-sharing features or integration with sites for uploading images to them. There are also desktop applications whose sole function is sharing photos, generally using peer-to-peer networking. Basic photo sharing functionality can be found in applications that allow you to email photos, for example by dragging and dropping them into pre-designed templates.
Photo sharing is not confined to the web and personal computers, but is also possible from portable devices such as camera phones, either directly or via MMS. Some cameras now come equipped with wireless networking and similar sharing functionality themselves.