Google has been busy with their new Chrome browser, but they’ve also released several updates to their Picasa Web Albums and Picasa desktop photo management application. In an attempt to compete more directly with popular sites like flickr, Google has implemented facial recognition, Creative Commons rights management, and an Explore feature that allows users to view photos from around the world. The Picasa desktop application, now in beta 3, includes the ability to retouch photos, create collages and slideshows, and upload directly to YouTube. You can read more about the latest improvements by visiting the What’s new page from Google.
The ability to upload and share photos when you’re on the road is very important to the mobile user. I’ve been drawn to Picasa Web Albums since its creation primarily because it was linked to my Gmail account, I felt like it had less advertising, and it felt more mature and secure. I like the having the ability to upload my photos and keep them private, only sharing them with a few family members. Now Google is appealing to the global, social crowd as well. Although both Picasa and flickr have the ability to keep photos private, they both push the idea of sharing photos with the world. Even the flickr motto reads, “Share your photos. Watch the world.” I don’t want to world to watch me, but I do like to peruse pictures from around the globe.