One of the biggest strengths of Google+ is the photo management features that have been implemented. Comparing it to Facebook, because we must, working with pictures and photos in Google+ is much smoother and more versatile.
This article will cover the main aspects of photo management in Google Plus. I will cover the positive aspects and I will also cover some of the concerns that Google+ users have had when working with photos in Google+ thus far.
I am also in the middle of creating a slew of tutorials for photo management in Google+ and would love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below.
Positive Aspects of Google+ Photos:
Gallery View is Incredibly Smooth and Aesthetically Pleasing
Uploading Photos from Mobile Devices is Easier Than Ever
Google+ Features a Built-In Image Editor
Integration with Picasa
The Google+ Photo Gallery was the first thing I noticed when I started using Google+ a couple weeks ago. It is accessed by clicking on the “Photos” tab at the top of your screen.
It displays the latest photo uploads from your friends. If you’ve just started using Google+ and aren’t following that many people yet, the gallery may seem a little empty. As soon has you have 15+ friends who have uploaded photos, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
If you want to look at photos from a particular friend, you can view the photos section of their profile.
Google+ users have reacted positively in regards to the location of photo comments. Facebook, as you may know, displays photo comments underneath the photo. Google, on the other hand, displays the comments section to the right of the photo in the form of chat bubbles. So far, users have tended to prefer the placement of photo comments in Google+.
In terms of aesthetics, I think the gallery feature in Google+ is great. It runs fast and fits as many photos into the space as possible while maintaining organization and clarity. Good job Google!
Although Google is still waiting for Apple to approve the Google+ app for the IPhone, the Android app has had great a reception so far!
When you first sign up for Google+, you have the option to sync all of your phone’s photos to your Google+ account. If you decide to do this, photos from your mobile phone will be automatically uploaded to a private album until you decide to share the photos individually, or move them to an album that others can view.
There have been some complaints with the mobile app which I will touch upon in the “concerns section” below. Overall however, users feel that the app is much more user friendly than the mobile app for Facebook.
Unlike in the Facebook photo app, you can upload 8 pictures at a time with the Andorid Google+ app. Facebook users complain about uploading 1 photo at a time because it is very tedious. You don’t have to worry about that with Google+.
Google Plus offers some very basic, yet fun, photo editing options within the Google+ interface. I think the most useful feature is the ability to rotate images. If you take a photo sideways with your Android, you can rotate the picture in Google+ without having to use an external editor.
Google+ also gives you some customization options in terms of lighting adjustments. Along with a few other techniques, you can turn your photos black and white or adjust the contrast of them.
The built in editing features aren’t spectacular but as I will mention in the next section, I believe Google has plans to integrate Picasa and Google+ together which will result in the most innovative rich media sharing tool to date.
Another great feature of working with photos in Google+ is the fact that your Google Plus photos are accessible within Picasa and vise versa.
Although Google gives you some power to manage your images in the Google+ client, if you want even more control, you can log in to Picasa and further customize your pictures and albums.
I have heard rumors that Google is going to rename Picasa “Google Images” and that they will increase its integration with Google+. I hope this is true because I think it is a little counter intuitive that you must go to an external site to customize your Google Plus photos.
User Concerns About Photos Google+:
Image Tagging Features Need to be Tweaked
Picasa and Google+ Need More Integration
Apple Needs to Approve the Google+ App!
I have heard a lot of concerns about the privacy aspects of image tagging Google+.
Many users complain that, although you can control who is allowed to tag you in Google+, once somebody does tag you, there is no way to control the privacy of that photo within your own photos section. Of course, you could untag yourself, but then nobody would be able to see the picture. Its like friends in Facebook- all or nothing.
I think that this was just an oversight on Google’s part and I expect this feature to fixed in the near future. I will provide an update this when that occurs.
Although it is nice that Picasa and Google+ are linked together, it would make it a lot easier if the features currently available Picasa, were also natively available within Google+.
As I stated earlier, I think this is something that Google is working on and will release to the public in the near future.
The response from Android users is overwhelmingly positive in regards to uploading photos from the mobile app. The problem is that Apple is yet to approve the Google+ app for IOS, leaving IPhone users in the dark.
I’m sure this will work its way out but if Google+ is to really be adopted fully, it needs to have integration with IOS.
Early Conclusion of Photos in Google+
It is important to note that Google Plus is still technically in its limited test phase. That being said, photo management and display in Google Plus is very polished and impressive.
It is visually beautiful, intuitive and robust. Just the gallery view alone is enough to prefer viewing photos in Google+ over viewing photos in any other social sharing service.
As Google receives more feedback the company will hopefully improve the integration between Google+ and Picasa to create a seamless photograph management system all in one place.
I would love to hear what your experiences you have had working with photos in Google+ so please leave feedback in the comments section below. As I stated earlier, I will be posting multiple tutorials related to working with photos in Google Plus and I would like your input as to which ones are most needed!
If you’re looking for more general tutorials regarding Google+, take a look at my Complete Google+ Setup Guide!