Picasa Web Albums

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Picasa Web Albums (PWA) is an image hosting and sharing web service from Google, often compared to Flickr and similar sites. The service links with Google's photo organizing desktop program Picasa.

It allows users with a Google account to store and share photos with an initial free storage offering of 15 GB, that is shared with Gmail and Google Drive. Storage is unlimited for photos of resolution less than 2048x2048 pixels for Google+ users, and for photos of resolution less than 800x800 for everyone else. Videos shorter than 15 minutes also don't count towards the limit. After the limit is reached, photos are automatically resized.[1]


Users may upload pictures through a variety of ways: via the PWA web interface on supported browsers,[2] Picasa 2.5 or later[3] on Microsoft Windows, using the Exporter for iPhoto, the Aperture to Picasa Web Albums plug-in, Uploader on Mac OS X,[4] F-Spot on Linux, or through WAManager in the Amiga-like OS MorphOS. In both free and paid accounts, the actual resolution of the photo is maintained, even though a smaller resolution photo may be displayed by the web interface.

In Picasa 3 versions of the software, using the 'original size' upload option, pixel size remains the same, but JPEG compression is increased significantly during upload to PWA. As JPEG is a "lossy" format, some picture information (and quality) is lost. Picasa 3.6 added an option to preserve original JPEG quality.[5]

PWA uses an "unlisted number" approach for URLs for private photo albums. This enables a user to email a private album's URL to anyone, and the recipient can view the album without having to create a user account. This is done via an "authentication key" that must be appended to the URL for the album to be shown. The Picasa Help files say that private albums are not searchable by anyone except the user. Another visibility option named "sign-in required to view" is available. This makes the album viewable only to those with whom the album is explicitly shared.

Ads are shown on the free Picasa Web Albums accounts. The Terms of Service[6] permit Google to use the uploaded photos to display on their website or via RSS feeds, and also for promoting Google services royalty-free. Additionally, the terms permit Google to allow other companies with which they are affiliated to use the uploaded pictures to provide syndicated services. This allowance is perpetual and cannot be revoked by the owner of the photos.

Picasa Web Albums was first leaked on June 6, 2006.[7] When introduced, it came with 250 MB of free space. On March 7, 2007, that was upgraded to 1 GB.[citation needed] As stated above, storage is now unlimited for small and resized photos. Users can rent additional storage space (shared between Gmail, Google Drive and Picasa Web Albums) through a paid monthly subscription plan. Plans are available from 15 GB (free) to 30 TB (US$299.99 per month).[8]

Although users can create secure web albums, Google refuses to fix an error that started with their 'upgrade' to Google+: an Unlisted Gallery link does not display correctly unless the viewer is logged into a google account. Previously, users could share their Unlisted Gallery link with anyone, Google user or not.[9][10]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Free storage limits - Picasa and Picasa Web Albums Help, Support.google.com.
  2. ^ Creating New Albums: Upload using Picasa Web Albums, Picasa Help.
  3. ^ "Picasa Web Albums". Googlesystem.blogspot.com. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  4. ^ "Web Albums Uploader". picasa.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  5. ^ Leng, Susanna (2009-12-08). "Picasa 3.6: Now with collaborative albums". googlephotos.blogspot.com. Google via Blogspot. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  6. ^ "Picasa: Terms of Service". Picasa.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  7. ^ "Google Picasa Web Albums Coming?". blogoscoped.com. 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  8. ^ "Buy page for storage for Picasa Web Albums, Gmail and Google". picasa.google.com. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  9. ^ https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/picasa/4Za1xzW0VCY
  10. ^ https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/picasa/7keFQMc1Zac

External links[edit]