“A Morning With Google+” was delayed about 40 minutes due to some power problems, but then Google’s Senior Vice President of Social, Victor Gundotra, took center stage and said they would be speaking about three main areas at this conference – and no, there will be no Nexus 5 announcement quite yet:
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- Photography and Storytelling
He started with some amazing figures of just how fast Google+ has grown from its September 2011 beginnings to over 540 million current active users and that there are over 1.5 BILLION photos uploaded on a weekly basis! That is amazing when you think about it and with our interest in photos at an all-time high – an average smartphone user shoots 100 photos a day and many of them get uploaded to social sites like Google+. Because of this Google+ has concentrated their efforts in this area and have made many enhancements to allow the users of Google+ to help manage their uploaded photos, not only in allowing them to apply enhancements with one-touch, but also to manage their albums – by eliminating duplicates, fuzzy shots, etc.
To up the ante against Facebook, in September 2012, Google acquired Nik Software, the company behind Snapseed, a popular photo manipulation app that uses filters, much like Facebook’s Instagram. Although not as popular as Instagram, Snapseed has a good following and is a perfect fit for Google+, as they emphasis photo sharing and today Vic spoke about the many Snapseed refinements and improvements they have incorporated into Google+. Below you can see a photo before (above) and after (below) the one-click of Snapseed was applied:
Here is another example:
The one click of Snapseed makes quite a dramatic difference as you can see in just the couple examples above. Snapseed uses 15 stops of light in their HDR (High Definition Range) to help make their auto-enhance feature work. Vic claims that this method works best for landscape shots and not for photos that involve faces or people…that is where the Nik collection works best.
When small cameras were first introduced to full-featured phones, I doubt that anybody ever dreamed that such a good camera could be incorporated into a smartphone. This brought on the age of photography for many people and now we take pictures to document our days and nights and Google is taking steps to make it fast and easy to share high quality photos on Google+ via Snapseed.