Integrating Shared Google Photo Albums with Facebook

My concerns about the way Google has been developing its social and photography offering has been documented on a number of previous posts on this site and this has led me to look at whether it might not be the time to use Facebook more.

The main grumble I had of recent was the way that Google had made it so difficult to comment on individual photos in an album. At least they have moved towards making that easier, but again, inexplicably to me, it’s outside their social/collaboration environment – Google+.

The way forward – if you’re going to continue to use Google for storing and sharing photographs – is to create Shared Photo Albums in Google Photos – and then share them to Google+, Facebook or Twitter. You do that from the ‘share’ icon in the Album you want to share. Clicking on an individual photo will then allow you (and anyone else you’ve shared it with) to comment on the photo. These comments then don’t appear in any of the platforms you’ve shared the Album with, only in Google Photos, but at least it’s a start. You also have to be careful how you share the Album as the people you share it with can also add photographs to that Album – not what you might have meant.

Still it’s a positive step forward, but Google has a long way to climb back to build my confidence in this part of their social offering. The photography side is now becoming very strong, and presumably will continue to grow and improve. Could it be that they want to turn Google Photos itself into a Social Platform – stranger things have happened!

Detailed instructions on how to create a Shared Google Album and share it in the browser …

  1. Open Google Photos
  2. Click the third icon down on the left-hand side of the page called Albums
  3. If you haven’t uploaded the photos you want to share already, click on the ‘cloud’ icon
  4. Click the ‘+’ icon to create an album, and select a ‘Shared album’
  5. Add the photos you have already uploaded, or that are already in Google Photos, into the new shared album
  6. Give it a title and share it to Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

You will find that by clicking on an individual photo in an album that you can add a comment. That’s it!

Google drops another clanger!

Google (@google) | TwitterCould we be witnessing the Photographers’s equivalent of the Google Reader debacle re-playing before our eyes?

Having launched a really useful social media tool in Google+, Google then got itself tied in knots trying to define what it actually was – eventually splitting off Hangouts. It then re-purposed Picasaweb – but thankfully hasn’t killed it off yet – into Google Photos and closed down a pretty useful Google+ Photos facility (I do have some sympathy with that decision), and now it’s launched new iOS and Android apps for Google+ focussing on two aspects of the service I didn’t want anyway – Collections and Communities and taking away functionality from the integration of Google+ with Google Photos.

Yes, Google have given me a generous storage facility – but it’s sterile. I can share an Album created on the service, but no one can comment on any of the pictures within it. They can comment on the Album if I share it, but not it’s contents if you’re using the new app. There is a sort of workaround that you can opt to see a photo in an album if you chose to see the image “on the web” and then comment on it through a different interface, but guess what … no one can see that comment, except you, and only then if you’ve got notifications switched on.

Pathetic software design. I suppose I could have lived (just) with the removal of commenting on photos in albums from within Google+ IF they’d enabled commenting within Google Photos, but they haven’t … it’s just pathetic.

Recently the Adobe Lightroom Community was up in arms about the changes to the Import functionality they’d introduced as an enhancement. Adobe, to their credit, listened and within a few weeks the old functionality had been re-instated. Unfortunately Google do not have a good record on listening to feedback. I hope I’m proven wrong, but for now I’m pondering what to do next.

Watch this space!!

PS I don’t need Collections because …. I use an RSS Reader to harvest the stuff I’m interested in. Communities – much the same, I get more value from specific forums outside Google+.