Google+ Update Includes Lots of Photo Enhancements


No doubt feeling pressure from certain other social media sites raking in the dough, Google announced Wednesday a slew of new features for Google+ intended to enhance the way users share, organize and tweak photos.

Launched in 2011, Google+ is the search giant’s attempt to steal some thunder from Facebook. As of the beginning of the year, it had more than 500,000 accounts. But Google won’t say how many of those are active, and the widespread impression is that the total is a small fraction of the 1 billion active monthly users on Facebook.

One of Google’s main ploys to turn that around is to improve the experience for the 1.5 billion photos shared every week (compared to 2.5 billion for Facebook) via the service. “Photography today is too hard,” Google Vic Gundotra told a press conference covered by the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s too hard to create treasures.”

hdr scape


Enhancements include:

  • Automatic hashtagging based on Google’s ever-improving image-recognition technology.
  • Automatic enhancement tools such as noise reduction and skin smoothing.
  • Faux-HDR effects.
  • An automated image analysis feature that can pick the best shots from an event — based on criteria ranging from focus quality to an expanding database of aesthetic considerations — and stitch them into a stop-motion movie, complete with soundtrack.
  • Full-resolution uploading and backup for iOS.
  • Improved image search regardless of how well (or poorly) the photos are tagged.
  • An “eraser” option in “Auto Awesome” for easily removing people and/or objects from an image.

(via San Jose Mercury News, Forbes)

Image credits: Photographs by Google

  • Leif Sikorski

    It has 540 Million active monthly users and 300 Million who use the Stream on a regular basis.

  • Scatterbrained

    I find it funny how we used to joke about people thinking we just hit the “Make Awesome” button in Ps and it popped out awesome shots. Now Google actually has an “Auto Awesome” feature. Hillarious.

  • 3ric15

    Too bad I uninstalled it since it was chewing up my battery.

  • Atticus Finch

    Best Google+ enhancement would be to assert, and give a guarantee for the future, that the copyright of images displayed within its pages lies with the copyright holder and not try to make claims as per other sites. Would encourage more people to post images and show that Google cares about peoples concerns.

    No social network needs to claim such rights other than that images are displayed for viewing unless otherwise specified by the copyright holder. Not that difficult to do.

  • Tom Waugh

    ““Photography today is too hard,” Google Vic Gundotra told a press conference covered by the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s too hard to create treasures.””

    I personally think that photography has never been easier.