Google Puts Google+ Photos On Death Watch As Social Network Flails

Google is getting ready to say goodnight to Google+ Photos (oh no!) as the service is set to expire on August 1, 2015, but Google Photos will live on (phew!). Confused? It's all about the "+" symbol. The photo service that Google is shutting down is the one that's built into its Google+ social network, while the one it's going full steam ahead with is its standalone Google Photos service launched back in May.

While it's unlikely Google would ever state this publicly, the shuttering of Google+ Photos is partially an admission that its social network isn't on the level of Facebook, or even close. Had Google+ taken off the way the company hoped it would, the standalone Google Photos service probably would have never existed. But it does, and having two photo services is redundant.

Android users will be the first to see Google+ Photos shut down starting August 1. Not long after, Google+ Photos on the web and iOS will disappear as well. However, you won't lose the photos you've already uploaded to Google+ Photos, nor do you have to worry about downloading them and re-uploading to Google Photos.

Google Photos
Google Photos, not to be confused with Google+ Photos

"If you’re still using Google+ Photos, now is a great time to make the switch. You may have seen a prompt in Google+ Photos on Android with a link to download the new Google Photos. Don’t worry, all your photos and videos will still be saved and available after you switch to the new, stand-alone Google Photos app," Google stated in a blog post. "With the new app you’ll still be able to backup, edit, and share your photos and videos, with unlimited storage, automatic organization, and more."

Users seem to be taking the news in stride, though the one complaint that's echoed in multiple comments to Google's post is that they'll miss the superior photo editor in Google+ Photos.

"I must say, the photo editor feature in the new Google Photos is sad compared to the Google+ Photos editability," Daniel Troconis commented. "I already use Google Photos but when I want to edit a photo then Google+ Photos is the best and more complete."

There are also some features in Google+ Photos that don't yet exist in Google Photos, such as the ability to fling pictures to Chromecast. On the flip side, unlimited photo storage is awesome, and now that Google only has one photo service to focus on, we're optimistic that it's only a matter of time before some of the Google+ Photo features are ported over.