Google to End Support For Picasa
A lot of people scratched their heads when Google launched its Google Photos service back in May but left its other photo service Picasa up and running. Today, Google resolved the uncertainty of what’s in store for Picasa by announcing that they will be retiring the legacy photo storage service.
Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos, commented in a blog post detailing the announcement that “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 service is not going away immediately however. Google has made the two service interoperable, so all photos uploaded on Picasa will be available in Google Photos when people want to make the switch to the new service. “We know for many of you, a great deal of care has gone into managing your photos and videos using Picasa—including the hours you’ve invested and the most precious moments you’ve trusted us with,” Sabharwal commented in the announcement. “So we will take some time in order to do this right and provide you with options and easy ways to access your content,” he added.
Google has said that users will be able to continue to use Picasa as normal until May 1, 2016, at which time the service will become read only. Additionally, the company announced that it will be halting development on the Picasa desktop application as of March 15, 2016.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this transition causes, but we want to assure you that we are doing this with the aim of providing the best photos experience possible,” Sabharwal said. “Photos is a new and smarter product, that offers a better platform for us to build amazing experiences and features for you in the future.”
Looking to the Future
It’s been a long time coming, and many are wondering why it took Google so long to do what Google does best: retire and replace old services. Clearly the hesitancy to close the service down speaks to the number of people still using it, and their unwillingness to date to move to the new Google Photos service which features unlimited photo storage. Will users finally make the switch, or will Google end up losing these customers forever? Only time will tell.