Google may separate Photos from Google+ in the near future


Google’s Photo features are some of the most attractive aspects of Google+, including automatic backup, aut0-awesome effects, stories, sharing, etc. The Photos section of Google’s social network is extremely robust and offers one of the best solutions for cloud backup on Android. In an attempt to gain more users, however, it looks like Google might be planning on spinning off Photos into a standalone service separate from Google+.

The move would keep most, if not all, of Photos feature set, but it would allow the product to stand on its own similar to how Facebook manages Instagram. There would still be integration with Google+, but users would not be required to have a G+ account to take advantage of all of the features. Since Vic Gundotra left Google, there’s been a ton of speculation that G+ was on the chopping block, but it looks like Google really just wants to make the best parts of G+ available to all users, and use G+ as a platform for all of those services. Definitely a win for users, and it’ll likely bring more people into Google’s ecosystem.

Do you use Google’s Photo features on Google+? Are you happy or disappointed that the features might spin away from the social network?

source: Bloomberg

About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

  • Bruce

    This is indeed great news. I have simply stopped using any Google feature that required a Google+ account, let alone try any Google+ only services. I no longer rate any apps on the Play Store since they insisted on having a G+ account to do so. So if the Photos is is disassociated from a G+ account, I’m certainly going to check it out. At the moment, I use Dropbox.

  • Phillip Drawbridge

    Wait, Google has a social network? I use photos a lot. 11000 photos backed up and available anywhere! It’s great and 100gig is only 2 bucks a month. I’ll continue using it either way.

  • disqus_Av5SYZODgu

    Google+ is my social network of choice and offers many options for distribution control. The picture sharing is fabulous and it often surprises me with the “awesome” feature. Hopefully the services applied to G+ will not deteriorate once the photo application splits.

  • Fred Wampler

    Yes, I use and enjoy it.

  • DRC

    I use G+ photos voraciously. My only major complaint is that there are a lot of interface bugs. I wish Google would fix those (and yes, I’ve notified them about the issues through the “Feedback” mechanism, but there’s no way of knowing whether they actually read their feedback.) Probably the most compelling feature of G+ photos is the ability to do lossless editing. If you have Chrome, then you can access all of the knobs of Google’s “Auto-Enhance” algorithms and fine-tune them to your pleasure, as well as applying a great many effects– all while preserving the original image. This has breathed new life into some old photos taken with first- or second-generation digital cameras, not to mention new photos I’ve taken with my phone. There are still a few features that keep me on Flickr for more “serious” photography work– the ability to replace a photo (important if you are using Camera Raw, since the JPEG in that case is just an interpretation of the original photo, not the original photo itself), support for licensing each photo individually (as “All Rights Reserved” or various CC flavors) and thus controlling access to the full-sized original, controlling access to each photo individually (G+ only allows you to control access to the entire album), and content tags. It would also be nice to have some mechanism for backing up the metadata from a photo album, in XML or whatnot. Are you listening, Google? It wouldn’t take much for you to kill a lot of the other photo sharing platforms out there. You’re almost there. You just need to follow through.