If you’re having trouble keeping track of all the messaging apps that Google has introduced over the years, you’re not alone. But this new one is not really a separate app but an in-app messaging feature within Google Photos and it actually makes sense. You now have the option to share photos in a chat to one user or to create a group, instead of the previous way of creating a shared album. This is a more convenient way to share that one or two photos and then keep the conversation going within the app.
Previously, you had to create a shared album and then add people that you want to be able to view and add photos to that album. It was convenient for large batches of photos, but for the one or two photos that you wanted to share with someone or with a group, it was a bit of a hassle to do so. But this in-app messaging option is a better way to directly message the photos and then chat about said photos with your loved ones or contacts.
It’s actually a simple and easy tool to use. Tap on the photo that you want to share and you’ll now see a “Send in Google Photos” option. You can choose from your most frequent contacts or search for the user by name, email, or phone number. If you want to send it to a new group chat, you can also tap the New Group icon which is the first one you’ll see then add the recipients you want to include.
Once you’ve shared a picture with a contact or with a group, you can always go back to that conversation which you’ll see on the Sharing tab on the main page. With each conversation, you’ll see all the photos and videos shared, the comments, text chats, likes, etc. You can see just the photos without the conversations by tapping on All Photos. You can also save the photos from the chat if they came from someone else.
Google does not want this built-in feature to replace your messaging app of choice. It is just meant for the Google Photos ecosystem. But to view the conversation, your contact needs to have a Google account of course. The feature has started rolling out already but the rollout will be completed over the next few days.