US-based photo sharing site Fotolog has been bought by French ad network Hi-Media Group in a deal valued at $90m.

The move will see Hi-Media attempting to use its online advertising and micro-payments systems to better monetise the site, which says it is experiencing strong growth in Europe.

It also adds Fotolog to the list of photo sharing sites that have been bought out recently, following Yahoo!’s purchase of Flickr, News Corp’s acquisition of Photobucket and HP’s takeover of Snapfish.

Cyril Zimmermann, CEO of Hi-Media, said:

“Hi-Media was attracted by Fotolog, which has only just begun converting its strong audience growth into revenues. We think that social networks are one of the pillars of what the internet is and will be important in the years ahead, especially when underpinned by simple mechanisms.”

Fotolog has recently started to focus on increasing its revenues through advertising and the sale of premium services through micro-payment solutions.

Hi-Media also earns the majority of its money through those two revenue streams.

According to Fotolog, the site has 15m unique users per month and has doubled its members to 10m since the start of the year. In Europe, it has 4m unique users per month, while it is also popular in South America.

Its largest shareholders, BV Capital and 3i Venture Capital, will receive most of their renumeration in the form of Hi-Media shareas and said they expect to participate in the development of the firm into “a major pan-European online media and services group”.

John Borthwick, Fotolog’s chief executive officer, added:

“This will be one of the biggest publicly-traded internet pure plays in Europe, bringing together Hi-Media’s leading ad network and Fotolog’s large and highly-engaged user base.”