Google Photos: sharing an album and shared albums, similar yet different
For those new to the concept of albums in Google Photos, the app offers two ways of sharing them: sharing an album and shared albums (create a shared one and link others to it). Ever wondered what the difference between the two is? This article will help you to understand how both the functionalities entertain different purpose.
Use-case 1: You had a gala time last summer with your family at Italy. You, being photographer of the house captured it all and now wish to share with everyone. So you are looking for an option that lets others take a look at the pictures.
Use-case 2: During the summer trip, all your friends captured pictures in their mobiles. Now you wish to collaborate them on a platform, allowing everyone not only to see but also contribute by adding the pictures they took.
Which sharing option to go for?
In the first use-case, making an album and then sharing it with family would resolve the purpose. Everyone will be able to see the beautiful memories. In use-case 2, creating a new ‘shared album’ would be more useful. All your friends can not only add their photos but comment as well, bringing sharing to life.
For sharing an album:
Open album> Tap on Send> Select the contact and share.
In case of ‘shared album’:
Select the photos and create an album> Selects the recipient’s and share with them
So now we know that both sharing an album and shared albums cater different objectives. Let’s go into more details now.
The main difference between the two is that a ‘shared album’ can be shared and collaborated, where as in case of a normal albums despite its enabled sharing, options which allow collaboration are disabled by default.
The second difference is that ‘shared albums’ do not show in Album archives separately, disabling their download using Takeout.
And finally, users often use 3rd party apps like Picasa tool and Pics Pro to download and save low resolution pictures for offline viewing. Shared albums being different from other albums are not recognized by 3rd party apps.
Note: In case you aren’t aware, albums do not create any separate folders. They are just links to the original photos in library. So while downloading from Web client one cannot download the entire album as an album (what you eventually end up getting is individual photos). This is where tools like Picasa come to use because they let u download your album as an album.
Digging deep into what else “Shared album” offers:
- Owner can stop people from adding comments, photos or videos to album in two ways
1. Tap on 3 dots Menu> Sharing options>Turn off Collaborate (cannot add photos or videos to album)
2. Tap on 3 dots Menu> Sharing options>Turn off Comment (cannot add comments to album)
- No one will be able to see the album if the owner turns off sharing. Also, all comments and photos added by others will be removed from the album. (Owner has no control if members download the shared content before he turned off sharing)
- If the added members don’t want to contribute to album, by using sharing options they can either
1. Remove the Invite sent by owner or
2. Leave Album: members added by the owner can leave album anytime. They can view the album even after leaving it, provided they have the link. Leaving album restricts the owner from blocking the members. Users can rejoin the album after leaving it, provided they are not blocked by the owner.
- Despite being a part of the album, members can avoid others by using the Block Person option. Blocking restricts the person to contact you on Google Photos and other Google products like Google+, Hangouts etc.
1. By blocking someone they will not see each other’s pictures/ videos/ comments.
2. If the owner blocks someone or a member blocks the owner, either ways all the content and comments added by that member will be removed from the album.
(* Leave Album functionality is not available for the owner of album, but may be coming https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/photos/ReEIsIt3upk/EAemN0aKAAAJ)
Google Photos can get confusing when it comes to sharing an album and shared albums. But the app proposes two different sharing features to address different users. We hope that this article uncomplicates users understanding of the app’s sharing functionality, further enabling them to make the most of it.