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By: Danette Mckay
Snapfish is one of the most known and old online digital photo printing services. Established in San Francisco as a small startup company trying to tap on the Internet boom it was later on acquired by Hewlett Packard to become HP printing service.

Snapfish is a web based digital photo printing service. Snapfish started as a digital photo printing service. The company established in San Francisco was funded by a few venture capital investors CMGI Mayfield. Snapfish also raised money from private investors which was common practice in the silicon valley on those days. The company focused on a web only based service. In addition to providing digital photo printing Snapfish also offered other services mostly photo album sharing and storage.

In 2005 Snapfish was acquired by Hewlett Packard which was a great proof of the great service and professional product the company had to offer. Hewlett Packard was smart enough to keep the Snapfish brand that already had a lot of traction in the market while providing the printing and other operational and technical services to the company.

In its first years and before the Hewlett Packard acquisition Snapfish solely focused on the United States market. With the help of Hewlett Packard and taking advantage of its success and positive cash position Snapfish slowly extended it business to other countries mostly in Europe and Australia.

Snapfish also extended it services cooperating with a few large United States based retail chain in order to provide in store pick up service for customers that preferred picking up their printed digital photos rather than having them mailed to them. Snapfish online services now provide much more than just digital photo printing. Snapfish now also provides its users with unlimited storage digital photo album storage and the ability to share such albums with other users for an unlimited time regardless if they print any of those photos or not. Snapfish also provide its users with more photo printing products in addition to the standard paper prints. Users can now print on coffee mugs create calendars and scrap books and much more. Users can also enjoy full service in which their photos are placed in an album book of their choice and mailed to them or where their printed digital photos are placed inside a photo frame of their choice and mailed to them ready to be hung on a wall or placed on their desk.

The extra services Snapfish provide allowed it to keep its leading market position. The online digital photo printing market is very competitive with dozens of companies offering digital photo printing services. It is impossible today to continue making profit from merely printing digital four by six photo prints. The extra services such as printing on mugs and making calendars or creating complete photo frames gift wrapped products provides allow higher prices and higher profit margins.

Digital photo printing is a growing market. While users still print their digital photos and still enjoy printed photos more and more users simply use their computers in order to view photos stored on their computer disk or on a photo album on the Internet. In order not to lose users to other free photo album services Snapfish had to offer competitive photo album storing and sharing service. Today you can create unlimited albums on Snapfish and share them with friends without needing to print a single photo. Snapfish uses advertisement on its photo album pages to create a revenue stream covering the cost of providing such a free service with the ultimate goal of having those users eventually order some photo prints or better one of the premium products that Snapfish offers.
Danette Mckay is a well known author. Read more here snapfish printing about this and other subject.
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