Google+ Photos is shutting down on August 1, images will be available at Google Photos
Google has announced that Google+ Photos is shutting down on August 1.
The Mountain View company is infamous for its reputation to send many of its services to the virtual graveyard, and it appears that an integral part of its social network is being cut off.
But Google killing the Google Photos service is not something out of the blue. Back in May, Google announced a new service dedicated to storing images, called Google Photos. It offers unlimited amount of storage space for free. But there is a slight catch in that Google Photos will not offer free storage space for images which are above 16 megapixels in resolution (for e.g.:DSLR images)
When it unveiled Google Photos, the company had dropped a hint that Google+ Photos will soon be dead, and users will have to switch over to Google Photos instead.
And now the time has come. The news comes directly from Google+’s account on its own network with a message captioned “Goodbye Google+ Photos, hello Google Photos!“.
Google+ Photos will be phased out beginning with the Android version which is being shut on August 1, and will be followed by Web (Desktop) and iOS versions.
Don’t fret, your media files are not being deleted. All photos and videos stored in Google+ Photos will be available from the new Google Photos service. Also, the photos and videos which you’ve shared on Google+ wills till be displayed in your posts.
You can access them from http://photos.google.com or should you wish to download them, you can easily export the files using Google Takeout.
Why is Google doing this?
Google+ never took off really, it was meant to be a rival for Facebook and Twitter, but it has been a miserable failure. It hasn’t garnered as many users as one would have thought, and Google knows this well. One of the reasons why Google+ failed is because it is clunky, and has several features that most users don’t use. By trimming off the Photos service, and releasing it as a standalone app, with advanced features like editing options, it is likely that users may use the feature even if they do not want to participate on the Google+ social network.
While that seems like a sensible move, CNET reports that this also puts the future of Google+ in doubt. Will Google shut down its social network? It is not clear yet. Personally, I think Google+ is a good source of news, and that Google should work on to improve the service instead of killing it.