I think we all knew this would happen eventually, and the day is finally here – Google has just announced that it will soon retire Picasa. For those unfamiliar, Picasa is a photo-sharing and storing website that’s been in Google’s lineup since 2004. Ultimately, Google stopped rolling out any notable updates to the service, so it was only a matter of time until the photo website was shut down.
So what are Picasa users to do now that their photo service is getting shut down? Google is unsurprisingly telling folks to move over to Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. The idea here is for Google to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location. For those who aren’t keen on using Photos but would still like to view tags, captions and comments, Google will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. You’ll still be able to view, download and delete your albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit your albums. Google Photos can do all of these things, so you might want to think about giving it a try if you’re on the fence.
This is all happening very soon, but not today. Google will start rolling out the changes on May 1st, 2016.
The company also says it will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates. Also, Google is retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more about those changes here.