While the news is not a real surprise, Google has announced that the support of Picasa is going away in favor of Google Photos.
Since the launch of Google Photos, we’ve had a lot of questions around what this means for the future of Picasa. After much thought and consideration, we’ve decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos. We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products.
The news was made on Google Photos blog and the end of support is coming pretty quick but not at the expense of those who have content on the site. You will still be able to access it but won’t be able to upload to it any longer. In a nutshell, here is what is happening. On March 15th, Google will stop supporting the desktop application for Picasa. That means no new updates will be coming to it but you can still use the app.
The next big date is May 1st of this year. That is when you will start seeing some features of Picasa roll into Google Photos. Not all of them will be brought over but most of them will and up until this point, you can still use the Picasa web albums and everything else with the site. After May 1st however, you will no longer be able to add new content to the site.
Keep in mind two key things on this announcment. First, none of this is happening today. You can continue to use the service as normal and nothing has really changed yet. Second, if you are going to move to Google Photos for your online photo storage, you can view your Picasa albums in the service today. For those who do not want to use Google Photos, the company has committed to having a service available to you where you can access your photos and all the meta data that you have created around them. No formal word on what this will be but it is clear that Google wants to take their time and get this right. When it comes to memories in photos, it is a sensitive subject. Google doesn’t want to screw it up – rightfully so.
So what do you think of this news? Is this big news or a non-event for you? Leave a comment and let me know.