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Google Explains Google+ Photos and Google Photos

July 22, 2015 - Written By David Steele

Google has and is changing how it offers photo and video backup services to customers. Google’s application allows customers to store a finite amount of pictures and videos at full quality, using their Google Drive space, or an unlimited amount of media using a lower quality setting. The old system, which was a part of Google+ called Google+ Photos, is being shut down in lieu of Google’s new service, simply called Google Photos. Photos incorporates a similar full quality limited storage combined with unlimited storage at a lower-than-full quality, but better than before. Although Google+ Photos is being shut down, this will only prevent customers from using the upload service but does not change existing photographs and videos in the service, which may still be found using the Photos tab from your Google+ profile. Plus, the unlimited service is free, but nevertheless some customers have a sense of entitlement over a free service and Google has seen something of a backlash from angry Google+ users.

Anil Sabharwal, the head of Google Photos, released a statement yesterday (Tuesday) regarding the change of how Google handles photographs and media. Anil explains that the significant changes are happening behind the scenes. “The private photo management component of Google+, which includes backup, editing, creations, private album management…and sharing to other apps” will be handled by the new service. This means that Google+ Photos users will still be able to use the existing service whereas going forwards, the mechanics of the new service will be handled by Photos. Anil confirmed that the existing service arrangement with Google+ Photos remains unaffected – customers can continue posting photographs and videos to Google+ and followers can still comment and +1 as always. Existing posts containing photographs, videos, albums and similar already shared on Google+ will remain as they are.

The big change for customers is that private photograph management is being handled by Google Photos. Anil confirmed that the team carefully deliberated the change and didn’t take this decision lightly. The reasons for this include how it is confusing for customers to see two applications and services that do very similar things. It also means that the Photos teams can work on one application service rather than splitting their time between two (or more) applications. Anil also writes that the Photos team are working on bringing all of the original Google+ Photo features into Google Photos as quickly as possible.