It’s official. Today, Google has officially announced their plan to retire Picasa, an online image editing program that was the foundation upon which many of Google’s current photo services were built on.
Google has had a strange, love/hate relationship with photo management and editing services. Acquired from Lifescape in July 2004, Picasa was Google’s first major foray into the world of photo management and editing.
While it lived a good and respected life for a few years, Google eventually all but abandoned it in hopes that their much more modern photo management and editing offerings built into Google+ would overshadow the app and plug-in based program.
That, however, fell through as well in July 2015, when Google announced it was shutting down Google+ Photos in favor of, wait for it, Google Photos. While initially launched only on Android, Google Photos eventually made its way to both the browser and iOS.
Since then, Google Photos has grown into a wonderful platform, taking bits and pieces from Google’s previous photo endeavors to make a frankenstein service with a beautiful façade.
It’s for this reason that Google has officially announced that all support for Picasa apps, across all operating systems, will be shut down in order to ‘create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products.’
The Picasa Desktop application will be the first entity to lose support, with Google stopping development on March 15th, 2016. It will continue to work in its current state, so don’t think it will simply cease to work, but no further updates will be made.
Following that, Picasa Web Albums will end operation on May 1st, 2016. If you’ve already synced your Picasa Web Albums account with Google, all of your images should be in Google Photos, so no need to transfer over the images.
You can read Google’s announcement post here.