Friday, December 5, 2008

Improved Sharing, new album mode for picasaweb

So on Wednesday Picasaweb launched another set of new features to the public (full post: http://googlephotos.blogspot.com/2008/12/improved-sharing-international-name.html). The most noticeable was probably the new gallery layout and icons. Personally I think this new layout is much more slick instead of the old dated 90's look to the gallery page. Another major enhancement is the integration with Google Translate for all the comments. Ever since we launched the Explore page, I've noticed that picasaweb actually has a fairly large (and very international) active user base! All the people started leaving comments in their native languages and I've personally made a few friends in Europe and other parts of the world. I started to get very curious as to what some of these comments were saying. For example: http://picasaweb.google.com/antonione67/Paesaggi#5268845901768672626 has a comment: "bellissima foto...simile alla toscana , ma profondamente diversa. Ottimo inquadratura. Brava" And now thanks to Google Translate... I now know that means "beautiful picture ... similar to Tuscany, but profoundly different. Excellent shot. Brava". While the translation is rarely perfect, it does help to get the point across, not to mention some of the failed attempts are pretty darn funny :) (case in point: "可惜好像故意照他掉頭髮的樣子" => "It is a pity as he seemed to intentionally look like the hair" when I really was trying to say that it was pity that it seemed as if I was intentionally taking picture the fact that he was balding - from  http://picasaweb.google.com/pingc315/NZTripDay2WestCoast#5272120541813486914). Either way, I love this feature and I hope it'll spur more comment activity and help people overcome the language barrier.

We've also just launched the new album privacy mode called "sign in required" which will really locked down the album to the people you've shared with via the "Share" button on the page. Personally I find unlisted just fine, but I guess it's perfect for those wild bachelor party pics.... er I mean photos of your sweet kids to share with the grandparents... If you share the album with a friend who does not have a Google account to login with, we'll generate a special invite for him to create an account with (or he can log into any existing account to tie the invite to him). Keep in mind that you can also add non-gmail address to your Google account on the my account page so you can add your yahoo, hotmail or whatever address all to your Google account so when people share with you, it will all just work regardless of the email they use. One extra benefit of using the share button is for us to be able to track who you've shared with but also to create customized gallery views. This means that when you go to http://picasaweb.google.com/pingc315 you will simply see ALL the albums you can view including unlisted and sign in required albums if the owner has invited you. This way if you don't have to worry if you deleted or lost the original share email... we'll remember all this for you to make it easier. Just make sure you share things with people using the "share" button or else we won't know about it... Hope you all enjoy these new features and start sharing all those photos during the holidays!