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Pool Party appGoogle has spent most of the week talking up its new social service Google+, which aims to revolutionize the way people communicate online, including how they share photos. However, that isn’t stopping the company from launching other photo-related projects at the same time.

Last week, the company quietly launched Pool Party, a photo-sharing service with an emphasis on creating and sharing group photo albums in real time.

The new service has applications in both Apple’s App Store and the Android Market, but don’t bother trying to download them right now. Like Google+, Pool Party is currently in invite-only beta testing. To get an invite, you either need to know someone using the service or patiently wait for Google to send you an invitation after signing up on Pool Party’s website.

Pool Party was developed within Google by the same team that created photo service Slide, which Google acquired for $187 million in August 2010. It’s also the same team that developed the group-messaging, photo-sharing app Disco for Google in March.

If you count the new functionality of handling photos in Google+ (Instant Upload) as well as Picasa, Google is working on four different photo sharing initiatives. It’s possible that the company will integrate each photo service to work in conjunction with Google+, which former VentureBeat staffer MG Siegler noted in an article on TechCrunch yesterday.

Then again, maybe the company feels threatened by other ambitious photo-sharing apps that have made headlines recently — such as well-funded startup Color, Cooliris’ LiveShare and Facebook’s unofficially announced photo-sharing app. Twitter’s new partnership with PhotoBucket is also worth mentioning.

Screenshots of the Pool Party iPhone app are embedded below. Since I haven’t used the app yet, I can’t say much about its functionality. At first glance, however, it looks a lot like other popular photo-sharing apps.

Click on the images to enlarge.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at


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