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Google recently made another attempt at breaking Facebook’s monopoly in social networking sphere by launching Google+. Its a good product, concept of circles of friends is interesting and mimics real life situation. However Google has made a mess of it by compulsorily linking Picasa albums to Google+. Picasa is a wonderful photo-sharing product and should remain so, it’s incorrect to abruptly turning it into a feature of a social network.

Many people, including me, used Picasa to share photos which they do not want to share on Facebook. Picasa has been my private photo sharing tool, and I want it to remain so. Google+ still shares the photos and comments only with people it hasĀ been explicitly shared with by email, but a tag of person outside this sharing list of emails can make photo go out of those circle and can make it public. It’s a definite breach of privacy. Google does notifies about this possibility but it would be really stupid for them to expect people would understand complete implication of this just by reading the note. I am sure soon there will be an uproar about this, just like what happened with Google Buzz when it by default made contact list public as your connections on Buzz.

Photo-sharing is a very important feature of a social network, and contributes a lot to its growth. Facebook now has more photos being shared than proper photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa. Considering this, it is understandable that Google wants to leverage it’s existing photo-sharing facility for Google+. However by doing that, they are demoting Picasa into being just a feature of Google+ than being a proper photo-sharing site. They should give an option to delink Picasa from Google+ for those who want to continue using Picasa as it has been till now. And if it wants to, I am sure it will definitely come up with hundreds of more engaging and interesting features and ways to get more and more photos shared on Google+ specifically for purpose of photo-sharing on a social network. Hope someone at Google is listening to this!

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