Yes, it is NOT a typo for Yahoo. Yupoo is one of the largest photo-hosting/sharing sites in China, the third in market share to be exact, trailing on 163.com and QQ. The two giants dominate the market because they already had a huge user base as successful internet portal sites. Photo-sharing is just a value-added service for their members. This has been a proven business model globally, as evidenced by Photobucket and Yahoo-Photos, the top 2 players in the U.S. market, who feed MySpace.com users and Yahoo users respectively. What gives Yupoo the right to compete with the big dogs? Features.

In the competitive U.S. photo-hosting market, Photobucket and Yahoo, occupy 62% of the market share. The rest of the pie is shared among a bunch of interesting sites that excel in their own vertical area, Zooomr with the locality and community, Bubbleshare with the privacy, Flickr with tagging/searching (it’s Yahoo’s now), Slide with the slide show, and etc. Yupoo’s co-founder and CEO, Young Lau, told me he recognizes the company as a vertical player in the China market. However, instead of specializing in one niche, he sets his sight on having Yupoo as the one-stop shop for all your photo-related needs, uploading, editing, sharing, searching… To accomplish this, Yupoo puts a great deal of effort into allowing users to upload their photos from every possible terminal. You can do it on the web, from your desktop with software, from your mobile phone, via email and in the future, even from your television. Yupoo also builds upon a collection of core features that focus on enhancing user experience, including photo-tagging, slide shows, photo-grouping and linking to social networking sites.

Yupoo already commands a loyal following with over half a million registered users and 5000 new members added each day. With China mobile subscribers topping the U.S. and camera phones ever more popular, the potential is huge. Yupoo definitely can exert the most amount of influence on the power users, the ones who highly regard their photos as a means of self-expression and look for creative ways to share them with the world. The challenge for Yupoo is how to ignite the passion in people who merely seeks for free storage with its rich feature set and convert the non-users. After all, I am still waiting for the day when my mom stops sending me bulk emails with photo attachments.