Report: Google taking photos out of Google+

Google is separating out its online photo service from its Google+ social network, according to a new report.

The new service, which doubles as a photo storage site, will allow users to post pictures to Facebook and Twitter, something they can’t do directly from the photo area on Google+ today, according to Bloomberg. Google plans to unveil the service at its developer conference next week.

The move would represent something of a reversal of strategy for Google. After launching Google+ four years ago, the company rolled numerous disparate services into it, including its Google Talk chat software and its Picasa Web albums feature.

Google announced earlier this month that it was separating its Google+ service into separate “Photos” and “Streams” products. Some observers saw that as an indication that Google might be abandoning Google+, which has struggled to draw in users and compete against Facebook.

The new standalone photo service will face a large collection of new and established Internet-based photo services. Rival Yahoo, for example, operates Flickr, which offers users a terabyte of free storage for their pictures and videos. Apple recently launched iCloud Photo Library, which can be set to automatically back up pictures from users’ iPhones and Mac computers. And Lyve, a Silicon Valley startup company, offers software and devices that allow users to create their own online photo storage and sharing service.

File photo: AFP Photo/Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images.


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