Aug 082013

Change is hard. Those of us who have been using Picasa Web Albums for years, to share our pictures on the web, didn’t like that Google is changing to Google+ Photos and leaving Picasa Web Albums (PWA) behind.  At first, the Google+ picture display fanned out your pictures in each album like cards fanned out in your hand.  I found that to be annoying.  They don’t do that anymore. There were several features in Picasa Web Albums  that were initially missing from Google+, like slideshows, and downloading albums.  Google+ is catching up, those 2 missing features are there now.  For the few features that are still missing, it’s easy to go to Picasa Web Albums and use them there.  What I really love about Google+ Photos now is the way it displays my pictures. It fills the screen with just my photos.  And it automatically enhances them.  Once in a while, I go to Picasa Web Albums and the display makes my pictures look old and plain by comparison.    Here’s a sample of the pictures from my most recent album – shown with Google+ Photos.

google photos

Reasons to Join Google Plus for your Photos

I’m not saying that the confusion is gone.  There’s still a lot to learn when it comes to sharing with Google+, but you can still just share with a link like we’ve always done with PWA.  See this past article on What Happened to Picasa Web Albums.  But, if you tried it before and didn’t like how it handled your pictures, it’s time to give it a second chance. Whenever you log in to your Google account, you probably see this screen (below) where you can join Google+.  Just make sure your name is correct, add your gender, and birthday and you now have Google+ as part of your Google account.  If you should decide you don’t like it, you can always remove the Google+ info from your profile – just make sure you don’t remove your whole account. 

google join

That’s it.  Now, when you upload from Picasa on your computer – you will see them online using Google+.  Here’s Google’s official page explaining Picasa Web Albums and Google+.  Here are the reasons I like using Google+ Photos:

  1. Unlimited free online photo storage if you agree to limit your uploaded photos to 2048 pixels.  That’s plenty big enough for sharing online, or even printing, and the resizing is handled automatically by Picasa on your computer.
  2. Automatic uploading of pictures from your phone or tablet and stored privately online for free.  Just install the Google+ app on your phone or tablet.
  3. Ability to share with ‘circles’ of friends, in addition to the existing public, or private sharing.  You can still share with link.
  4. Beautiful display of your pictures, including auto-enhancing (you can turn this off if you don’t like it – I love it.)
  5. Photo editing, organizing, displaying, and sharing procedures are getting better all the time since Google is putting their efforts into the Google+ product and not Picasa Web Albums
  6. Why not use Google+?  Picasa Web Albums is still there, just use the link: and you’ll be seeing the same albums using the Picasa Web Albums interface.

Try Searching

You can do this with Picasa Web Albums as well, but it’s just nowhere near as obvious as in Google+ Photos.  In Picasa Web Albums, when you search for ‘beach’ the default is to search all the public photos anywhere on Picasa Web Albums.  In Google+ photos, the default is to search your own photo library.  It picks up the word ‘beach’ in captions, tags, or album titles, just like Picasa on your computer.  In the sample below, these beach pictures come from Oregon, Florida and Mexico – all from my Web Albums. 

google PhotoSearch

What about You?

Do you use Google+ Photos now?  Are you avoiding it? 

  8 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Are You Using Google+ Yet?”

  1. Is there a way to share multiple existing albums (I have hundreds) with my “circle” without clicking on the “share” button on each album. I am looking for a global setting to share all my photos with my circle with one or two clicks.

    Thanks much.

  2. Seems simple enough… but if I remember correctly, on picasa online albums, if I organize a folder on my computer, they organize the same way on the online folder. Now I seem to have to organize them on my desktop and then organize them again online. Doesn’t sync really sync?

  3. I don’t want Google Plus. I don’t want Google Circles. I deplore the way Google has ripped Picasa Web Albums out of my Google Account online options in its continuing attempt to find out everything it can about everybody everywhere so as to profile them for advertising — oh, and vanquish Facebook in the process.

    There are millions of morons in the world who have neither the ability to value their anonymity nor any capacity for self-esteem. Equally, however, there are millions more intelligent enough to know that if they wish to “share” and if they wish to “like” and if they wish to have a “circle” of friends, then they’ll do so without their lives being managed by a giant faceless corporation which — as Google has shown in its ripping-out of Picasa from gmail accounts — is just Orwell 1984 by another, and quite silly, name.

    The assinine gibberish posted on here about how wonderful it is to have Google Plus, and Circles, and all the rest of the predictable sales nonsense convinces no-one.

    If Google wants the details of who I am, what I want, and what and who I like it’ll have to come up with a checkbook. Not Google Plus — and definitely not, its blatant attempt to mass manipulate a mass audience in order to derive mass profits from it. Picasa Web Albums was wonderful. RIP, Picasa.

  4. Thanks for the article on google +. So I see the difference between PWA and G+ however how about the rest of Picassa. I have basically steered away from google plus since I saw it as a way for them to do social media. However are they replacing Picassa? Or does it continue on my computer as a way to catalog and manipulate images? Are there features of G+ that over time replace the Picassa on my desktop if I want that?
    I can see your point about googles efforts going forward will be in G+ and not the old stuff. Do you see them deleteing any more functions from existing Picassa?

    • I don’t have any inside information on Google’s plans. I see no reason for them to eliminate Picasa3 on your computer though – it is the best way to get pictures up to the Google+ Photos. Yes, Picasa continues on your computer as a way to catalog and manipulate images on your computer – no Internet connection involved.

  5. I have one question, after the pictures are uploaded to Google+, if the source file is deleted are they gone from Google+ as welll??

    • I think by ‘source file’ you are referring to the picture on your computer? Then, NO, if you delete the file on your computer, the picture still exists on the Google+ Web album. UNLESS, you chose the synchronize option in Picasa. Just Uploading a picture from your computer to the web definitely does not delete the picture on your computer.

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