Tomorrow Photobucket is finally rolling out smarter way to tag your photos. If you've ever used Facebook's system of tagging other people that lets users draw a box around their friends, Photobucket's new implementation isn't too far off. You simply need to draw a box around any people or objects in a photo and give it a tag. Users who see the photo can mouse over the shot and get little boxes that denote the tagged area--similar to Flickr's notes feature. You can also add URLs that will jump users off to someone's social networking profile or other related links if they're one of your Photobucket contacts.
The service supports up to 20 names and links per photo, which is a far cry from Flickr's limit of 75, but likely more than enough to meet the needs of most users--and plenty enough to fill a shot. Like normal tags, the new inner-photo version will get added to Photobucket's existing pool of tags, meaning you're not going to have to tag a shot twice. Users will also be able to search by tag through Photobucket's search tool.
Like Facebook, when adding tags you have the option to e-mail anyone who has been tagged to let them know they're Internet famous. The real killer app however, is the fact that the tags will come with the photo no matter where it goes, a lot like that cool 2view service that I checked out in April. In their demo of the service Photobucket is showing off the new feature on a MySpace profile (imagine that), but it will work with any social network that lets you embed. I can see some cool uses come out of this for blogs and personal Web pages, although the only negative is that Photobucket embeds a big "get your own" link below each photo to advertise the feature to others.
I'm a huge fan of Facebook's tagging feature, and I've always enjoyed Flickr's notes, so to me this seems like a perfect blend of ideas from both of those services into one package. The fact that you can take it elsewhere should make things a little more interesting and add context to a shot, even if there isn't a proper caption, title, or description.
If you want to play with the new feature, Photobucket will have a demo available around 8 am EST at this page: http://tagging.photobucket.com