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Google Photos To Compete With Flickr?

The Google Operating System blog reports [1] that Google is likely changing the name of their Picasa photo sharing service to “Google Photos”.

A few other features are due to rollout as well, including licensing options, email photo uploads, and tagging of people in pics.

Google’s Picasa Web Albums haven’t competed effectively with Flickr – in fact, I know of a large number of Googlers themselves who are using Flickr instead of their own service. Perhaps with the greater brand-recognition of “Google Photos” they will be able to increase usage. If/when they make the formal change over to the new name, I’d halfway expect them to roll out more features to help propel adoption. The problem is that they’re continuing to play catch-up to Flickr, and as a user it’s not clear to me why I should necessarily switch.

(Interestingly, both Flickr and Picasa use Picnik [2] for image editing/correction, making it somewhat attractive as a potential acquisition target.)

I noted recently that Google introduced the ability for users to add Picasa and Panoramio pics to Maps [3]. It still seems to me that Google should allow users to add their Flickr pics to the maps as well, from a purely user-centric viewpoint. Users don’t care that the two companies are competitors — users just want convenience and cross-platform compatibility.

Is there room for more image sharing services [4]? It seems like there’s a glut of them, and that Flickr is a clear pack leader. In this particular arena, will Google bring any particular value-add or differentiation by continuing to build a competitor service? test