Picasa (Google) takes on Flickr (Yahoo)

It’s been rumored for a while, now it’s reality.

Picasa Web Albums


Lately, Picasa has been my photo file organizer of choice so this may be very good.

It’s by invitation, first come, first served so I hope I get in before the rush. Right now, I’m pleased with Flickr for my photo sharing needs. Truth is, I don’t take advantage of the sharing that much. The majority of my photos on Flickr are shared with just friends and family. But it would be cool to try the new Picasa thing and not have to manually use the Flickr uploader tool to get the photos online.

Aside from the one-application convenience, from what I’m reading on the Picasa Web Albums detail page it’s going to be a hard sell to move people away from flickr (and the new Yahoo photos – check out what it will be here).

Storage: Each Picasa Web Albums account comes with 250MB of free storage space, or room to post and share approximately 1,000 wallpaper-sized photos (at 1600 pixels each). For $25.00 per year, users can get a subscription to an additional 6GB of storage – room to post and share approximately 25,000 photos.

250MB? That’s it? The same people who give away email space like there’s an endless supply are capping photo storage so low? Flickr only limits how much you can upload in a month, not total capacity. Of course, Google has a paid version with more space (6 GB) but what am I getting for my $25 besides more storage?

Through Flickr, I can post directly to this blog, post from my phone and all sorts of fun things. What is Google offering me besides storage? It doesn’t even appear to offer tagging.

One other troubling thing:

How do I view my friend’s web albums? Do I need to sign in or sign up for anything?

If you’ve received an email with link to a friend’s gallery, album or photos, just click that link to view your friend’s web albums. You can also go directly to the URL if you know it. You do not need to be signed in to or signed up for Picasa Web Albums to view others’ photos.

This seems to mean that photos are either private or public. No middle ground. In other words, I’m getting the feeling that I can’t set a photo to be viewable by just “friends” or just “family.” I don’t like that. There are some photos I want to share, but not with the whole world. On Flickr, I share my “family” photos with the people in my personal life and my “friends” photos with people in my professional life. Works nicely, and most don’t mind signing up with Yahoo (or they already have a Yahoo account anyway).

I’m sorry, Google, your interface just isn’t that compelling so the “if they build it, they will come” thing no longer works. At this point, all I can do is wait for my invitation and judge on the actual product. If nothing else, I’m hoping that the new version of Picasa that is coming will be worth it with other improvements, web albums or not.


6 responses to “Picasa (Google) takes on Flickr (Yahoo)”

  1. …and you need a Gmail account. For those of us in the UK we aren’t allowed Gmail. (You either need an invitation from somebody who hs Gmail or a mobile phone from a US service provider)

  2. I didn’t realize there was a barrier in the UK. Steve, do you want an invite? I only have 97 left, so speak up. 😉

  3. Zonealarm suite question: Judi, wondering how that’s working for you? Are all the parts adequate, like the anti-spyware? Is it easy to manage?
    I ask because I teach a Defensive Computing class to seniors and at the moment recommend standalone programs for antivirus, anti-spyware (usually Spybot and AdAware, and firewall (zonealarm), partially because they are free and partially because the suites can be more problematic than individual programs (Norton Systemworks anyone?)

  4. My PC has a built-in SD card reader, so my snapshots tends to go to the PC (which is why I use Picasa). I use FolderShare to sync my pictures on the G5 so I can manipulate in Photoshop when necessary, but for the most part my Flickr uploading happens from the PC, not the Mac.