Google Introduces Shared Albums Feature To Photos, Turning App Into Social Media Experience

Shared Albums on Google Photos

When Google rolled out its Photos app this past May, over 100 million users embraced the idea of sharing images and albums by sending links via text message, email or messaging apps.

On Thursday, the tech company enhanced Photos further,introducing its shared albums feature. The feature has been worked into updates of Photos across all platforms, including iOS, Android and the Web.

With shared albums, users can collaborate with their friends and family on all images selected. As Google’s video demonstration shows, one simply opens up the Photos app, selects all the images he or she wants to share and then clicks on a new shared album.

From there, users will be prompted on who they’d like to share with, having the ability to select from their contacts list. The people receiving the shared album can join in and add their own photos and videos in addition to getting notifications when new images are added.

The added feature also allows users to save photos and videos from shared albums to their Google Photos library, even if they weren’t the ones who originally snapped them.

While the collaborative experience of shared albums sort of transforms Google Photos into its own social media network of family and friends, it’s severely missing the functions to make it a full-blown social media force.

For example, even with the introduction of shared albums, users don’t have the ability to comment on pictures within the app nor the ability to simply “like” them. Another drawback — depending on your preference — is that Photos arranges your images through shared albums in chronological order of when they were taken and not added, which is sure to irk some users.

While that could be modified rather easily, it will be interesting to see if Google incorporates “comments” and “likes” within Photos to truly make it a social media network.