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Google Photos now directly shares albums with people, links no longer required

In December, Google Photos added direct sharing for one-off pictures and videos through in-app chat messaging. Photos is now directly sharing albums with people and their Google Accounts.

When sharing an album, you can select contacts from the top “Send in Google Photos” carousel. The default behavior is now to “share albums with a specific person or people” via their Gmail address/Google Account.

Generating a link is no longer a prerequisite to sharing an album, with this new direct method seeing you explicitly choose who gets access every time, which has obvious privacy benefits. As the owner, you still determine whether people can collaborate/add content, or leave comments and likes.

The other person will get an email and Google Photos notification, or can visit the Sharing tab. Like before, they’ll be able to “Say something” privately inside Photos for Android, iOS, and the web. Today’s update also lets you remove people — thus removing any photos or videos they added — that you previously shared an album with.

Google Photos is still offering link sharing today for those that do not use the app or have a Google Account. The second carousel in the share sheet lets you create a URL and lists all available messaging services.

As with the company’s previous sharing announcement, it’s not trying to “replace the chat apps you already use,” but offer a more integrated and dedicated place to talk about images.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Google notes that sharing in Photos has increased by 50% in some regions. Google Photos is rolling out the new direct album sharing behavior this week.

Google Photos album chat

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: