Mashable is reporting that Google will be rebranding Picasa as “Google Photos” within the next six weeks, coinciding with the public launch of its Google+ social networking service. Blogger will also be rebranded as “Google Blogs”. Furthermore, images up to 2048x2048px won’t be counted towards the 1GB of free storage offered by the service for Google+ users, up from the 800px rule announced earlier this year. Larger images uploaded after the storage limit is reached will be automatically resized to 2048px, meaning Google is offering virtually unlimited storage for sharing photos online.
As Google continues to improve the photo sharing experience it offers, Flickr’s going to have to innovate quickly to prevent a mass exodus of photographers looking for greener pastures.
Facebook can’t be too pleased with Google right now. In addition to releasing a Facebook competitor called Google+, the company has also beaten Facebook to the mobile photo sharing space with a new app called Pool Party. Like Google+, the app is currently invite-only, but if you can score an invite it’s a free download for both iOS and Android. The app is based around collaborative group albums called “pools” that allow you to share pictures with friends and family in real-time.
One of the gripes some people have with Flickr is that it doesn’t offer an easy way to download your complete collection of photos if you ever want to move your images elsewhere (though, hopefully you’re not using it as your only backup). Furthermore, if your Pro account ever expires, you can’t even access more than 200 of your old images without resubscribing. Google’s Picasa users won’t ever have this problem with the launch of a new service called Google Takeout, which allows you to download all your photos (and any other data you have stored with Google) as a single ZIP file.
OpenPhoto is a new “open” alternative to Flickr being built by programmer Jaisen Mathai — an engineer who quit his job at Yahoo (Flickr’s owner) back in May 2011. Instead of storing images using company servers, this new service will allow users to connect their own online storage accounts to store their data within arms reach. This would be like using Flickr to share your images while having the photos themselves be stored in a location that you control (e.g. Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc…).
Mathai is planning to have an open source version of the software that anyone can install on their own servers, and also a hosted version of the software, much like WordPress.org and WordPress.com for blogging. He’s currently raising money for the project through Kickstarter, and plans to launch the hosted version of the service by September.
OpenPhoto (via TechCrunch)
Last week we featured Shopobot, a new website that can show you the price history of camera gear and tell you whether it’s stable or not. Decide is a new service (just launched yesterday) that goes a step further — it not only tells you whether to buy or not based on price stability, but checks to see whether there’s a newer model available or likely to be announced in the near future. The service bases each decision on 40 price factors, historical trends, and relevant rumors regarding upcoming announcements. With a new camera being announced every 45 hours on average, Decide might just help you avoid the pain of buyers remorse.
Decide (via Mashable)
Update: A reader reports that the retailer AJRichard (which reportedly does bait and switch scams) is listed on Decide. Be smart when choosing where to purchase from! (Thanks Ryan!)
One of the big complaints users (or ex-users) have against Flickr is that its account deletion process is often unexpected and almost always permanent. Many users — even paid subscribers — have found their accounts deleted and have had no way of appealing and no chance of recovering their data. Flickr finally addressed the issue today by changing its deletion policy — data is now stored for 90 days on the server after accounts are deleted, giving users a chance to appeal. Huzzah!
Your photos and data on Flickr [Flickr Blog]
Image credit: delete by Vitor Sá – Virgu
Since we first covered its launch back in October 2010, Instagram has become one of the fastest growing photo-sharing companies and iPhone apps. This week founder Kevin Systrom announced that they now have 4.25 million registered users, and that users are posting 10 photos every second, or around 900,000 photos per day. Not bad for a seven month old service, eh?
(via TechCrunch via Small Aperture)
P.S. Just for comparison’s sake, after 5 years Twitter has over 200 million members that post about 2,000 Tweets per second.
There have been a number of stories lately reporting that a large number of Flickr users are leaving the site for new photo-sharing services that are cropping up, including Instagram and 500px. Earlier his week, a designer at Flickr named Timoni West wrote a post on her blog that publicly criticized Flickr’s usability. More specifically, she calls the “Your contacts” page (the one that shows your contacts’ photos) the “most important page on Flickr”, pointing out the problems with the page and offering redesign ideas that would address them.
As Instagram continues its meteoric rise, an ecosystem of third-party services is developing around it. Postagram is one such service by Xobni co-founder Matt Brezina and his new company Sincerely. It lets you easy send physical prints of your Instagram photos as postcards with personalized messages. The photo itself pops out of the postcard as a glossy 300-dpi print. Postagram is available as a free download in the App Store, while each postcard costs $1 and arrives in 2-5 days.
Postagram (via TechCrunch)
The mobile photo sharing space is hot right now, with services like Instagram, Picplz, and Path growing like weeds. A new contender called Color is causing some buzz after successfully raising a whopping $41 million… before even launching. The company has seven notable founders who have either started successful companies in the past (e.g. Lala and BillShrink) or have held executive positions at them (LinkedIn). Among the investors is Sequoia Capital, one of the most influential and successful firms in Silicon Valley and the firm that funded Google. They gave Color more than they gave Google.