Google Photos allows you to chat and share pics quickly: how to use it

Google Photos chat feature

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Google, in the past, has made many attempts to come up with a formidable messaging app, but with not much success. Now, the search giant is making one more attempt, but this time, the new chat feature makes a lot of sense. The company has added a chat feature into Google Photos. It seems to be a very useful feature as often it is a photo that triggers reactions from others. Discussed below is all you need to know about the Google Photos chat feature.

What inspired this new chat feature?

Google’s new chat feature seems to be inspired by a feature in Google+, which had a rich community of people sharing and discussing images. Apart from Google+, the new feature also seems to be inspired by Instagram. The Facebook-owned messaging app has already shown that photos can be a great trigger for a conversation.

“This feature isn’t designed to replace the chat apps you already use, but we do hope it improves sharing memories with your friends and family in Google Photos,” the search giant said in a blog post.

This new Google Photos chat feature allows you to share individual photos and videos. You can easily add an image or a video to a private chat in the app or the web version. Using the chat feature, you can like or comment on the shared image or video. Moreover, you can also save the images to your own gallery and there would be no loss in the image quality as well.

With the new feature, it has become very easy to share images. Until now, you had to create a separate shared album, but now you can share individual images with anyone you like.

The Google Photos chat feature is very similar to the direct video sharing and messaging option that YouTube added previously. The feature, however, was scrapped ahead of YouTube’s announcement of the $170 million fine for breaching COPPA (U.S. children’s privacy laws).

How to use Google Photos chat feature

Google Photos chat feature is pretty easy to use, and involves a few steps. These are:

  1. Launch the app, or open the web version.
  2. Select the image or video that you want to share and then tap Share.
  3. You will now get a pop-up with the option to “send in Google Photos.”
  4. Select the contact to whom you want to send the image or video. You can also search the contact by name, phone number or email. You can also type any message.
  5. Hit the Send button.

That’s it!

You can select more than one contact as well, or you can start a new group to initiate a conversation. You can initiate a group chat with any number of contacts, and all will have the ability to share photos and videos, like posts, and make comments.

Once you start a conversation, you can return to it by clicking on the “Sharing” tab in Google Photos. In the “Sharing” tab, you can view all the shared images and videos, comments, and likes. If you want to view only the shared images and not the conversations surrounding them, you need to click on the “All Photos” option.

Rising importance of Google Photos

Google Photos has never lost its importance despite the presence of several image-editing apps. A major reason for this is the auto-generated professional quality images and GIFs. Thus, the new chat feature would only help make Google Photos more popular, and could even turn it into a social app.

It is expected that users now could use Google Photos more than other options, such as WhatsApp, whenever they want to share any photos. Since all conversations are private in the new chat feature, it would encourage users to share photos and videos with close family and friends.

A point to note is that the new feature is available only to users with a Google account. Users will have to sign in to be able to send or receive a message via the Photos app.

Moreover, Google hasn’t designed the new chat feature to be like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Instead, the discussion on the platform would revolve around images and videos. It must be noted that the recipient should have a Google account to receive the shared images or videos. Also, the recipient needs to sign in to view the conversation.

This may limit the use of the chat feature as it means that users have to be 13 or older to get access. However, considering there are over a billion Google Photos users, it is more than likely that the contact you are sharing an image with has a Google account.

Google is gradually rolling out the new chat feature across Android, iOS and web apps. If you haven’t yet gotten the feature, then don’t worry as the rollout will take place over the next week.



About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com