With a view to promote new Google Photos service, internet search giant Google has announced the shutting down of its decade-old Picasa photo editing software. Originally created by Lifescape in 2002, Picasa was bought by Google in July 2004, which it began to offer as freeware.
“Picasa” is a blend of the name of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, the phrase mi casa (Spanish for “my house”) and “pic” for pictures.
In a blog on Saturday, Anil Sabharwal, head of Google Photos, wrote that the question they faced since the launch of Google Photos, on the future of Picasa will be answered now by shutting it down for good. “After much thought and consideration, we have decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos,” Anil Sabharwal wrote in Google blog titled, “Moving on from Picasa”.
While synergies in having a single product was the main reason, he said it would mean real problem for many users who had organized their photos in Picasa over the years. As a eye-wash, Google said, “we will take some time in order to do this right and provide you with options and easy ways to access your content.”
On Picasa Web Albums, he said users with their photos or videos in a Picasa Web Album now can still access them via Google Photos where they will be moved automatically. “Using Google Photos, you can continue to upload and organize your memories, as well as enjoy other great benefits like better ways to search and share your images,” he assured the users.
For those who don’t want to use Google Photos or who still want to be able to view specific content, such as tags, captions or comments, can go to a new place created for them to access your Picasa Web Albums data. “That way, you will still be able to view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit albums (you would now do this in Google Photos).”
The changes will start rolling out from May 1, 2016. As Desktop application, however Picasa will not be supported from March 15, 2016. Those who had already installed it on their desktops can continue using it but it will not have any updates registered or any support from Google. “If you choose to switch to Google Photos, you can continue to upload photos and videos using the desktop uploader at photos.google.com/apps,” Sabharwal said.
For developers, Google is retiring some functions of the Picasa API.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this transition causes, but we want to assure you that we are doing this with the aim of providing the best photos experience possible. Google Photos is a new and smarter product, that offers a better platform for us to build amazing experiences and features for you in the future,” he said reasoning out why Google is enforcing unilateral change on the way people use its own product.