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Report: Google Ready to Break Photo Service Out of Google+

According to sources of Bloomberg, Google might possibly break its Photos service out of Google+, making it stand more independently from its social network, even going as far as to let non-Google+ users be a part of the fun. The service, which is currently called Google+ Photos, could possibly be used to take on apps like Instagram or Flickr. 

From what Google has stated in the past, 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to Google+ every week, many of which receive the Auto Awesome treatment thanks to Google’s hard-working servers. Then, once automatically edited, they are made shareable with the click of a single button both on the web and through the Photos app on Android. The Photos app, Auto Awesome features, and editing tools included are some of the best available to mobile devices.

The report isn’t all that clear, but it sounds like Google will likely re-brand the app, make little mention of G+ during the sign-in process, and see how it can compete with established photo sharing/social apps.

Purely speculating here, but could this possible divorce be another sign that Google is looking to break down Google+? We know the company hasn’t given up hope completely, but as we saw at Google I/O, there was hardly any mention of the social network whatsoever. If you were to rid yourself of a network, taking out its key feature would definitely be a step you would take.


Via: Bloomberg
  • lalameda

    Well, I would just like them to take it back to Picasa before it got shoved into +. I actually maintained an original link to my albums that don’t use +. That way I can email the album back to myself at my non-gmail address. Then I can forward that email out to everyone I want to be able to look at the album without them having to get mixed up in ing +world.

  • arcivr

    By the time this launches, Arcivr will have a new iPhone app, desktop uploader for the Mac and unlimited video support. And most importantly, it will still offer completely private / collaborative albums. You might want to give it a try… Full disclosure – I founded Arcivr 🙂

  • Daryle

    What the hell? First they force Picasa users to Google+. I am probably one of the last holdouts who did not “upgrade” to Google+ because of how it might fubar rights in albums. Now they finally realize it was a terrible idea and are what? Going back to Picasa? Starting something new? Does this mean they might bring back Latitude (was awsome and had great cross platform integration with maps)? Maybe even the discussion filter?

  • Valerie

    I hope they separate it. I feel like my photo’s are being held ransom and I can’t easily post or share the photo’s I’ve stored in Picasa like I used to. I don’t care to be a part of G+ and feel I’ve been forced to use a product I didn’t sign up for just because I have a gmail account.

  • joe23521

    I think this may be a good idea.

    If Photos were to offer unlimited (or even 1T like Flickr) storage of full size photos and videos, I see no reason not to completely switch over from other services..

  • tamock

    I think Google is realizing that they have to run with the one account for all applications route. They thought that creating Google’s home into G+ would work, but in the end, G+ was just another application that some people wanted and others didn’t. I don’t use everything Google has to offer, but it’s nice to have everything that I do use easily accessible under one account.

  • cg

    So…Google+ is breaking up a photo service…because, hey…social media is not really dependent on silly things like photos…

    But yet, we can keep location services integrated, because hey…we totally need strangers to know where I am going, and not (just) loved ones…I really liked how before location services were before Google+ integrated them…I could inform loved ones where I was on a long drive (like NJ to FL…)

    Google, c’mon man!!

  • Zacharypt

    I can see it now. You take the photos, and then you put them on the line. Exchange-a-gram!

  • frhow

    Kill Google+…. useless

  • Mickey A Valentine

    Wait… What’s Picasa for then?

  • I like Google+ but so many people aren’t interested and recoil when Google continues to push its product onto people. I’m sure it’ll be a great service, one which I’ll use. But I’m sure people will complain no matter what.

    One question: So will this mean the end of Picasa? {{-_-}}

  • Not necessarily. Breaking off could just mean making the photos app more accessible to users who would otherwise be alienated at the thought of having to join G+ for the service.

  • Brian S.

    Has anyone heard of Picasa?

    • lalameda

      The main reason I use Picasa is the leveling tool. Second is it’s ease of use.

  • Jprime

    I just hope this means I can send pics in hangouts without being a member of g+

    • Guest

      This. Would love to close G+ completely, but need Hangouts.

  • Tushar Shah

    Surely wouldn’t like G+ to wind up. Though I’m pretty much active on fb, I find the sharing via circles at G+ to be one of the most convenient and coolest features out there. Dear Google, please do not go G –

  • anonymous

    Finally! No more working about the possibility of my penis shots leaking on my G+ profile for all of my friends to see!

    • 213ninja

      Sure but according to this they could still end up on GoogleGram.

  • Hector De Jesus

    Google needs to make solid decisions instead of treating everything like some beta project. A lot of Google products that don’t succeed immediately are either abandoned or transformed into something else that’s worse. Uncertainty about their products is what makes me not want to use Google products anymore.

  • I wish they would make up their freakin minds, I had all my photos on Picasa Web then they made me move them to G+, now what? I still use Picasa to edit my photos and I love it so I wish they had left it alone or at least given us the choice to keep things like they were. I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Free is free.

  • burpootus

    I dropped my G+ account after they blew up my Picasa Web Albums with Photos integration. Totally hated that, and nobody I knew was using G+ anyway.

  • DJyoSNOW

    Rooted and uninstalled +. Call me crazy!!

  • Melad360

    I like the old gallery app more, maybe not as visually appealing, but you don’t have to dig into it to find all your albums and the editing features are way more advanced. android L preview doesn’t have the gallery and I side loaded it cuz I couldn’t stand g+ photos

  • the forced integration of photos as G+ app drives me crazy.. it is patheticly slow loading even local pictures, because Goole thinks you are always pulling from the cloud first. I want to have a different app as my picture browser, but google doesn’t even give that as an option… the days of being able to manage your device to suit specific desires is flying away.

  • markgbe

    cool, i like it. Totally not necessary photos mashed into G+

  • LMC591

    It’s a good move some people don’t want to be force fed g+

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Maybe this will bring more people in? The photo service is unparalleled I’m my opinion. So is its social network. So much cleaner than Facebook. Facebook is almost it’s own OS at this point.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Not even close. Flickr and Instagram are still heavyweights compared to Google Photos.

      • Patrick Crumpler

        Not in regards to editing.

      • miri

        Flickr and Instagram are largely photo-dumping services in a way G+ does everything it can not to be. Highlights, Auto Awesome and [Snapseed] are more robust than anything the others are doing.

  • cjohn4043

    This is honestly the only reason why I use Google+.

  • Omar

    To be a replacement for Picassa? anyone?

  • cadtek91

    “Google Photos” sounds good to me.

  • Erick Wright

    I’ve always enjoyed Google+ it’s sad watching them cut the head off first and then dismember all of its parts…

  • Droid Ronin

    First came Picasa, which was sort of its own service, in which you didn’t need a G+ account. Then they decided to integrate Picasa into G+ and make it into Photos, now they’re separating it again? Picasa Part Deux?

    • Picasa 2: Electric Boogaloo

    • sort of like docs, then drive, then drive without docs, acquire a doc company, mess that up, now require 3 external apps to handle docs again.. screw that, went with a 3rd party actual .doc file maker that doesn’t require drive access.. (tried to do job invoices with docs today.. failed within min, was able to use kinsoft, insert receipts , export as PDF, email to boss in no time.. on my phone.. )
      who’s at the helm of googles products. there one day, gone the next, only to appear as something else and half assed of what the original client was… I’m giving google reader 3 more months to come back.

      • anonymous


  • BoFiS

    Would be awesome if it went back to being Picasa..I still use it pretending it’s Picasa, using the Picasa app, and only using the old Picasa site that I still prefer. Though I do miss my good Picasa URL that they never let us pick or change even after promises to the contrary…

  • David Foggia

    Google+ is only useful for techies. Nobody that I know that isn’t a techie uses it. Its a nice website but its cluttered. Especially with this “hot on g+” crap that I can never seem to get rid of

    • Sergio Meraz

      There’s a way to remove it. Google it

  • Edward Smith

    Love G+, but they need to add an option to NOT automatically upload new “folders” put in the internal memory or provide some sort of prompt. I move around images so much being a graphic designer that I can’t constantly go to G+ just to delete new images that were just added to my phone.

    • Jirv311

      Not sure what device you’re using but my Nexus 5 does have an option to not backup local folders to G+. It’s in Settings of the Photos app.

      • Edward Smith

        Not backup existing folders, stop auto backup of news folders. For instance, normally I can go into my G+ and turn off existing folders from uploading, but if I add a new folder to my memory card it will auto upload and not tell me until it has already been uploaded. The option is not there.

        • Jirv311

          Open Photos, menu button, Settings, Auto Backup. “Back up local folders” doesn’t exist?

          • Edward Smith

            Yes….thats for existing folders. I only want one folder to upload, thats it, nothing more…..so I uncheck every folder to not auto upload accept that one folder. Now if I put a new folder with images in my internal memory, the photos app automatically turns on the auto upload checkbox for that folder and start uploading.

          • Edward Smith

            I should be prompted with a message like “a new folder has been found, do you want to turn on auto upload for this new folder?” by the photos app. Instead it auto turns it on.

          • And then if you want to delete the backup it wants to delete it from everywhere on your device and that’s the only option.

          • JSo

            I have no clue what you guys are talking about. Sorry. This is the first time I have heard of this issue. Auto Backup is only supposed to backup your camera photos in the DCIM folder though. Not any photo in your sd card.

          • Jirv311

            I just tried this on my N5 and it did not do what you say. That’s not to say you don’t have a different version of the Photos app, I have no clue. But it works as expected on my phone with Android 4.4.4 if it matters.

      • It still does I have that option unchecked and it still backs up every photo I screenshot or download. That’s one of my biggest complaints

    • JSo

      The option is there dude.

      • Edward Smith

        The option is not there, read my response to Jirv311. Not existing folders.

        • JSo

          Well I don’t know then. I have auto backup turned off and even if I create a new folder, it doesn’t upload it. It’s not supposed to do that and you are the first person I have come across that has this issue.

    • +1 I have screenshots and save pics of clothing, technology, recipes and things I do not need backed up. I hate that Google doesn’t prompt you before backing things up.

    • Aaron C

      I loved Picasa, hate Google +’s integration of Photos. I like to keep separate functions of my life separate unless I specifically integrate them. Google doesn’t get that, never has and never will.

      • badcock

        It’s beneficially for Google to have everything you use integrated, because then they can know more about you and sell you to advertisers.

  • Defenestratus

    Considering it will likely stay deeply imbedded into the soon-to-be-renamed “Google Circles” social stream (which is still the best social networking site due to its better than average signal-to-noise ratio despite what knuckle-dragging-mouth-breathing youtube commenters think) this is no big deal.

    • bob

      noise-to-signal, spot on, there tie bee. I use G+ for similar reasons I read a twitter stream (information/interest.) I go to FB to see what political/candy-crush garbage my high school acquaintances are into.

    • Patrick Crumpler

      Circles is a much better name. It makes a bit more sense to people. It’s funny how confused people get over a +

  • Michael Johnson

    Even as a user and fan of G+, I think this is a great idea. And no, I don’t think this means Google is abandoning G+. I think the it can keep going strong with Google Photos as a separate service that encourages sharing to G+.

    • NetNuetrality for all

      Let’s hope they don’t abandon G=, it’ll be one of the only social services that companies won’t start charging you to use unlike FB, Instagram, twitter, and so on with the popular ones, like sprint Virgin will do.

      • Sqube

        Uh… the companies aren’t charging you to use those services. They’re offering to let you pay to get unlimited access to those services. There is a distinction.

  • Gfame103

    Google+ died the moment Google forced it down our throats.

    • Edward Smith

      G+ is amazing! The user interface actually makes sense for a social media site then Facebook which is complete garbage.

      • Gfame103

        Your right. But let’s be honest here. Nobody uses G+. The integration and innovation would be so much better if more of the people I know used it.

        • Michael Johnson

          Your friends don’t use it because their friends (you) don’t use it. If you use it and encourage your friends to do so, maybe they would. That’s how I got my friends and family using it…

          • Gfame103

            You mad bro?? Lol. I should not have to encourage people to use it, that’s Googles job. The only time my friends get on G+ is when I share something with them. I was die heart at one point just like you bro, you have to learn when to let go.

          • Sandy

            The real problem is Gfame has no friends. We can see why.

    • Michael Johnson

      False. If anything, it died when Facebook claimed 99% of the market before any significant competition showed up. But regardless, G+ isn’t doing terrible…

      • Bryan Mills

        Facebook doesn’t force anybody to use it, and it’s a lot easier to operate.

        People are free to do as they want in the end.

        • Droid Ronin

          FB is definitely NOT easier to operate than G+. The only advantage FB has over G+ is its user base, which unfortunately for a social network is 90% of the battle.

          • Jeffrey Tarman

            I agree. It’s the same way when MySpace was the leader of social networks and people were switching to Facebook. “MySpace is easier and no one is on Facebook” were the words most people said a few years back. Eventually, something else will come along and possibly replace FB and G+ one day.

          • AbbyZFresh

            FB will likely buy or copy a competitor before allowing anyone to surpass them. FB is here to stay.

          • Ura dumass

            Just like myspace was here to stay.

          • NBMTX

            I don’t even think it’s 90% of the battle for G+. Since something as simple as privately backing up your mobile photos will still give Google marketing data to better deliver ads. That’s basically like using Google Search.
            The utility of G+ is very handy, but the social side is also really bespoke feeling (if that works) and enjoyable.

        • NBMTX

          I can share content (that can be a statement, link, photo, video from some source, song, ANYTHING) with someone who has never used G+, and it’ll show up in their email. Their response will come back as a reply comment. That means it’s so easy to use, you can use it without even “using” it… and that’s in addition to the fact that my Google account isn’t actually a social media account.

          I started using it because I saw interesting stuff in my feed while managing some backed up photos. My feed just happened to be interesting because of the times i’ve randomly used Google services (Chrome, Gmail, YT, search, etc..) in daily life. It was so easy I went from not using it to using it exclusively, naturally.

          I can’t stalk family/friends/acquaintances though, I’ll give FB that.

      • Gfame103

        Your absolutely right. I love G+ and the integration. I just hate that nobody else I know uses it.

      • JeffColorado

        Not false…being forced to use it is 99% of the reason I don’t want to use it. Forcing it on us was a huge mistake and probable the main reason it never gained traction.

        • Michael Johnson

          But see, the problem with your logic is that nothing was ever “forced” on you.

    • NBMTX

      If Google hadn’t, I wouldn’t know how much better it is than the alternatives

    • DJyoSNOW

      Rooted and uninstalled +. Call me crazy!!!

  • Bryan Mills

    Google + isn’t that great so i don’t blame them.

    • Michael Johnson

      I’m guessing you’ve never really even tried G+…

      • Bryan Mills

        Did it once cause i had to for work and never again. I don’t like it. Plain & simple bruv

        • Michael Johnson

          Lol so… I was right…

          • Bryan Mills

            Yeah if that helps make your life any better. Tell your GF to call me later.

          • Michael Johnson

            I think you mean my baby momma/wife… She said no thanks. Sorry bruh, I tried for ya. I’m sure you’ll get one someday…

          • Michael Johnson

            but seriously, if you would give it a chance, you would see that it has some really great design and features that out do just about all the competition

    • dsim91

      I’ve noticed that you are nothing but negative and against everything being talked about on this site just to create controversy I feel sorry for you that your life is so meaningless you should start looking for something more meaningful out of life other than internet trolling

  • This is great news! I always thought it was bad to have this silly integration.