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Photobucket taps Thumbplay for Send to Mobile service

Fox Interactive Media's Photobucket photo and video sharing Web site has partnered with mobile entertainment content provider Thumbplay to launch a Send to Mobile service.

The deal will let Photobucket users customize their mobile phones with snaps sent from their Photobucket albums on the wired Web. This functionality is available to more than 25 million Photobucket.com users in a service powered by Thumbplay.

"It really provides one more bridge between the site they rely on like Photobucket and the phone where they live," said Alice Lankester, vice president of marketing at Photobucket, San Francisco.

The service is simple.

Consumers click on the "Send to Phone" button that appears on the Photobucket image. Then, they enter the mobile number, review and check terms and conditions and click on "Text me to continue."

After that action, consumers will immediately receive a text asking them to confirm the download. They are asked to reply to the text message with a "Y". The image appears on the phone within moments.

This service is free. But for $1.99 per image, photos posted on Photobucket.com can be downloaded as a wallpaper image onto any one of the 2,000-plus mobile phones that Thumbplay supports.

All images are said to be optimized for phone screen size and resolution.

As part of the deal, Thumbplay subscribers who do not have a Photobucket account can create a free one at http://www.photobucket.com.

Thumbplay's direct-to-consumer mobile entertainment catalog comprises content from EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Sony Pictures Television and Universal Music Group.

Based in New York, Thumbplay's wired Web site at http://www.thumbplay.com is said to receive more than 5 million unique visitors monthly. It mobile site at http://m.thumbplay.com attracts more than 12 million page views per month.

"A major advantage with Thumbplay is that we can automatically detect what kind of phone the customer is using, just by knowing their phone number," said Spencer Morris, senior manager of business development at Thumbplay.

"We then optimize the image quality and size for every specific handset," he said. "From there, it is literally a two-click process that takes only moments."