The album was released on 25 May 1998 in the United Kingdom, and on 17 November 1998 in the United States, both under Polygram International. It topped the UK Albums Chart on the week of 6 June 1998. Five singles were released from the album: "Picture of You", "Baby Can I Hold You", "All That I Need", "No Matter What" and "I Love the Way You Love Me", with the addition of the French-language single "Te Garder Pres De Moi", which was released and included on the album exclusively in France. The original British issue of the album did not contain "No Matter What" or "I Love The Way You Love Me" - these were included on a later pressing, issued on 10 November 1998, a week prior to the album's release in the United States. Although "Picture of You" is included on the album in both the United States and Australia, it was released as a single from A Different Beat in those regions, as the release of A Different Beat occurred there after the release of Picture of You in the United Kingdom. The American edition of the album includes three new tracks that were not released in Britain until the release of By Request in 1999. Although "Shooting Star" was released as a double A-side with "Baby Can I Hold You" in most territories, it only appeared as a bonus track on the album in Japan. The album is also the third and final studio album that the group released before the death of Stephen Gately eleven years later.
Several B-sides were issued to the singles taken from the album. The original track "I've Got You", co-written by Graham, Hedges and Brannigan, was released alongside "Picture of You", which also included a Spanish-language version of "Words", an extended mix of its title track, and the band's Eurovision promotional single, "Let the Message Run Free", which was also released as a promotional single with cans of Pepsi. The Japanese-only bonus track "Shooting Star" was issued as the B-side to "Baby Can I Hold You", alongside the band's version of "Mystical Experience", formerly only released in America, as well as a remix of the said track, the Spanish-language version of "Words" and the classic B-side "From Here to Eternity". The Japanese-only bonus track "Never Easy" was issued as the B-side to "All That I Need, alongside A Different Beat opener "Paradise", a French-language version of "Working My Way Back to You" included as a bonus track from the album in France, and remixes of the title track by Piz Danuk and Trouser Enthusiasts. The brand new track "Where Have You Been", co-written by Keating, Hedges and Brannigan, was released alongside "No Matter What", accompanied by a remix of "All That I Need" by Phil Da Costa, the Japanese-only bonus track "She's the One" co-written by Keating, an interview with the band, and the band's former hit singles "Father and Son" and "Words". Finally, the brand new track "Waiting for You", co-written by Gately, was issued as the B-side to "I Love the Way You Love Me", alongside "Let the Message Run Free", a live version of "No Matter What" from Wembley, and a medley of songs from the musical Grease.
The album topped the UK Albums Chart twice, on 6 June 1998 and 5 September 1998 respectively. Much of the material for this album was written or co-written by the band members themselves. In 1998, Ronan Keating was awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for "Picture of You", which was featured as the main theme song from the film Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie. The album was the third best selling album of 1998 in the United Kingdom. The album was certified as 5x Platinum in the UK.