Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday outlined a broad vision of how it plans to cash in on the surge in user-generated content that is powering trends such as blogging, photo sharing and online video.

Vyomesh Joshi, head of HP’s imaging and printing group, said the computer maker was developing tools to allow amateur photographers, small businesses and other customers to connect to an array of printing services using the internet.

“There are 1bn people on the internet right now, and the tools we are creating will allow users to [publish] like professionals,” said Mr Joshi. “Customers will be able to take a professional approach using simple, template-based tools.”

The push to take advantage of a surge in the amount of digital photographs, websites and other self-produced digital materials comes as HP seeks ways to boost sales growth in its most profitable business unit. Sales within HP’s imaging and printing group grew 5 per cent year on year last quarter and accounted for almost 30 per cent of the company’s $22bn in sales.

Mr Joshi said HP would take advantage of its sprawling printing technology portfolio to “reconfigure distribution” between content producers and publishers.

By removing the distribution barriers between users who create digital content and those who can turn it into products such as books, calendars and posters, HP hopes to capture a greater share of the more than 46,000bn “pages” of content produced in the world each year.

Mr Joshi said that online portals such as Snapfish, a photo-sharing web site HP bought last year, would serve as a hub to connect users with a variety of printing services, from HP’s in-home photo printers to machines owned by professional printing companies capable of producing coffee table books and other more complicated projects.

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