Google just bought a small photo startup - here's why that's awesome


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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Earlier this week, a small photo service called Odysee announced that Google had acquired it and that its team would be joining Google+, the search giant's social networking platform.


Odysee - which will suspend its service February 23 - made it easy for users to back up photos taken on their smartphones or tablets to their main computers, while still being able to access them from all their other devices. It also had robust private sharing features.

Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal but the acquisition hints that Google is continuing to focus on improving Google+ Photos.

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That's great news for anyone who has figured out that Google+ actually has one of the best photo services out there today.

Although the social network gets a lot of flak for failing to gain mainstream appeal or many active users, its photo storage and organization capabilities are amazing.


When you upload your photos to G+, Google will automatically organize them based on metadata, select and edit the best ones, put together scrapbook-like "Stories," and create custom GIFs. If Google adds more ways to privately share pictures or save them offline (instead of just in the cloud), that would sweeten the deal even more.

Bloomberg reported last year that Google was considering spinning out its photo tools into a separate service to give it more freedom to take on photo-sharing rivals and attract more users who don't want to use all Google+ features. This new acquisition indicates that, either way, the company is serious about further rounding out its photo product.