Google Photos adds 'stories'-like private archive - ET BrandEquity

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Directly within the Photos app are two new printing options. Between story-style messaging and memories, it's clear that Google's taking a page out of Instagram's playbook here - and given how dominant Instagram is right now, it's hard to fault them for copying some popular features. Google is also adding the ability to order prints for pickup or delivery to the home.

Google announced a couple of updates to Google Photos today, including an intriguing new partnership with Walmart and CVS that will allow users to order and pick up 4×6 prints of their photos from over 11,000 USA locations.

Although it looks similar to Instagram or Snapchat's public stories, Google says its Memories will only be viewable by you.

The Photos app, starting today, will show you photos and videos from years ago at the top of your gallery. However, your Photos collection is likely much more private than whatever you are sharing on social media, so you're much more likely to get that warm fuzzy feeling looking at your personal photos than you are from looking at your vanity shots.

The photos are curated using machine learning to discover photos that are probably meaningful and are of good quality. If you'd prefer to not see certain people or pets in your Memories or clips from a certain period of time, you can adjust those parameters in a new Memories section of the Google Photos app's settings. Google used the example of trying to find a photo of a carrot cake recipe and literally just searching for words in the recipe. The focus here seems to be on surprising and delighting you with only certain memories, maybe even some you'd forgotten about.

Other new features include a future update that will enable users to send photos as a direct message to another user. The search giant will also let you order photos to a CVS or Walmart not near you, allowing you to order photos for a parent or friend that they can pick up even if they're in a different city or state. Naturally, photos shared in Google Photos are the same quality as the photos that you back up. A similar feature has existed on social media platforms under the name "Stories", so this concept isn't new.

All of these new features, aside from the new photo messaging tool, are available today on both iOS and Android. "They start at $19.99 and come in three sizes: "8" x 8", 12" x 14" and 16" x 20".

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