Building on the success of Picasa, Google has launched Picasa Web Albums to allow Picasa users to upload their images to the Internet and share them.

It's designed to look like Picasa, with its simple interface and easy upload tool that requires just a couple of clicks to start the process.

Clicking on the "Share" button will take you immediately to a page where you can email friends and family about your images online.

The size of the images when viewing them in a slideshow or even as thumbnails are much bigger than many other web album services, and navigating through the images simply requires scrolling with the arrow keys.

Because this first release is a test version, Google is asking users to sign up using their Gmail username to receive an invitation, and provide feedback so the software can be improved before the final launch.

Picasa Web Albums also lets you download other people's complete albums to your hard drive, so you can share images to print out or keep.

Each account comes with 250MB of free storage space, although additional space up to 6GB costs $25 per year.