Nikon has announced that will launch its new online photo-sharing service on 28 January. Called Nikon Image Space, the service will take over from "my Picturetown" which the camera company launched in 2007 and which, it says, has been "very popular".

Perhaps the most interesting feature is that Nikon will offer two kinds of account. One will be completely free to anyone and have 2GB of free space for images; the second, with 20GB of space, will be available only to those who have a Nikon camera - as verified by a small software download. In addition to more storage, the Nikon users' "special" account will also allow image owners to put password protection on select images, or prevent them from being downloaded altogether.

Nikon is also promising much easier ways to share your photos with Facebook and Twitter contacts - hardly a massive technological challenge, we'll wager, but still welcome. Nikon says that there are stability and performance benefits to the new system too, which is something with which we can get on board.

As part of the transition, existing Nikon users won't be able to access their accounts from 10pm on 27 January through to the launch of the new service at 11am on 28 January. But they won't need to do anything and their existing photos will be automatically moved to the new service.