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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Web Service Reviews

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Google prepping Instagram competitor: Report
AFP
August 04, 2014
First Published: 17:39 IST(4/8/2014)
Last Updated: 17:41 IST(4/8/2014)

According to Bloomberg, the search giant wants to spin out Google+ Photos as a separate site.

Despite the fact that Google+ has over 500 million registered users, it is the social network that gets the most criticism and some of it is deserved. Despite such high membership numbers the site doesn't boast the same depth or breadth of users as its biggest direct competitor, Facebook.

The most recent Global Web Index survey into the social network shows that businesses and those who work in IT are overrepresented while full-time parents and those in full-time education are very much underrepresented on Google+.

However, it has fantastic photo archiving, sharing and editing tools and users have embraced the features, uploading some 1.5 billion images to Google+ each week.

According to Bloomberg, which spoke to people with knowledge of the matter, separating the image sharing element from the rest of Google+ would help to attract people who don't already have a Google+ account.

And, by potentially rebranding the photos element of the network as a different service, it would also be easier to compete directly with other social media sites.

In Snapseed, Google already has an excellent offline competitor to Instagram. The Android and iPhone app allows users to add a host of filters and effects to existing images or those captured by a smartphone's camera without the need to then upload them to a social network, although it does, of course have seamless integration with Google+ if you're a member.

Google has neither confirmed nor denied Bloomberg's claims but did issue the following statement: "Over here in our darkroom, we're always developing new ways for people to snap, share and say cheese."


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