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Google’s great Photos app is now a chat app, too

Published Dec 3rd, 2019 6:35PM EST
Google Photos app
Image: Olly Curtis/Future/Shutterstock

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Google’s Photos app

is a fantastic way to manage your library of photos, with so many bells and whistles that include easy tools to add filters and effects, combine photos into albums and movies, and compile photos into a nice printed book that makes for a great gift. The app also brings Google’s first-class AI chops to bear, helpfully tagging and sorting your photos so that you don’t need to do the extra work, as well as providing easy searchability that makes the app a Gmail-like service, but for Photos.

Meanwhile, Google is also adding yet another feature to the app that — granted, it might make some of you roll your eyes, since it’s related to messaging (and Google’s mobile messaging strategy has kind of been all over the place). This new chat feature being added to Google Photos, though, definitely makes a lot of sense, supports more photo-sharing between users, and you can check out what it looks like in action below.

“We’ve heard from some of you that (sharing photos) could be a simpler experience, so now when you share one-off photos and videos, you’ll have the option to add them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app,” Google Photos product manager Janvi Shah writes in a Google blog post by way of explaining the new feature. “This gives you one place to find the moments you’ve shared with your friends and family and keep the conversation going.”

Here’s what it looks like to use the new feature within the app:

Image source: Google

As you can see, all you need to do is simply tap on a photo or clip you want to share, select the user(s) you want to send it to within the app, and you can add a message as well — which produces a chat transcript that looks just like what you see within texting and messaging apps. Be that as it may, though, Google is also proactively pointing out that while this new feature provides an easy way to like photos or comment within your conversation (and you can also save these photos or videos to your own gallery), “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.”

Google says the new chat/sharing feature is rolling out to users over the next week, so don’t fret if you don’t see it live yet today. Also, it will be supported on both iOS and Android, as well as on the web.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.