Photo Features Could Boost Google Plus In Battle Vs. Facebook

Google Plus appears to be working on closing the gap that exists between what some call a sparsely populated semblance of a social network and Facebook. It is harnessing innovative spirit and brainpower to enhance its photo technology, potentially making itself a (well, an eventual, let’s be real) social-network opponent to Facebook.

Despite the bad rap Google Plus has received from much of the tech community, it has accomplished some feats, especially in the photography department. Largely, though, they have gone unnoticed. If Google Plus continues to delve deeply into photo technology, it could become a worthy social-network opponent, right under Facebook’s nose, suggests Janko Roettgers in an article for GigaOM.

Indeed, an entire gathering, the Google Plus Photographer’s Conference, took place Tuesday in San Francisco, catering to the flock of photographers who have discovered Google Plus.

Photogs, from novice to pro, some of whom have millions of followers, enjoy Google Plus photo features that outperform Facebook and Twitter, reports Roettgers, such as:
  • Lightbox integration that makes browsing entire galleries a breeze (unlike, cough, Twitter, which is ever changing its photo-share and gallery options).
  • Easily showcasing their wares, photos, in news feeds.
  • Finding like-minded photog friends and organizing Google Plus real-life photo-walks (good in concept with Facebook groups, but they still haven’t taken off).
  • Hosting Hangouts about photography.

Facebook has not aced the mobile photo-sharing game, although some 250 million photos are uploaded to the social network daily. Its recent $1 billion purchase of Instagram may spell progress for Facebook in this arena. But as its new hires get up to speed, Google Plus has clearly spotted an opportunity and is putting muscle into it. With some strong photo tech muscle behind it, consider Google Plus’ iOS app revamp, announced earlier this month.

Take Bradley Horowitz, nestled in Google Plus’ back pocket, Roettgers reports, saying the vice president of product management is versed in image recognition, having studied at MIT’s Media Lab, and he is familiar with social photo, having overseen Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr.

At the core of the Google Plus mobile app? Photo sharing: Users can automatically upload every photo they snap, easy-breezy does it.

Horowitz also hinted at the conference that Google is listening to photographers who are active on Google Plus and chipping away, coming up with innovative tools to make the photo-sharing experience on its social network even richer, Roettgers reports.

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