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Google today announced it is shutting down Picasa in less than three months. The company is asking Picasa users to try Google Photos for all their picture needs.

Google acquired Picasa from Lifescape in July 2004 and began offering it as freeware. “Picasa” is a mix of the name of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, “pic” for pictures, and the phrase mi casa (Spanish for “my house”).

Picasa Web Albums and the Picasa Web Albums Data API will continue working as normal until May 1, 2016. After that, users will only be able to view their photos, while developers will lose some API functions.

Google will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application sooner: on March 15, 2016. But if you have already have the software, it should continue to function — there just won’t be new updates anymore.


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Google says it is retiring Picasa “in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos.” The company added: “We believe we can 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.”

Right, but it was Google that created the redundancy in the first place. Google launched Google Photos in May 2015, providing a lot of overlap with the likes of Google+ Photos and Picasa.

As such, all your photos and videos in Picasa Web Albums will be moved to Google Photos. From there, you can continue to upload and organize your content, and really that’s the only place Google will support you doing so come May.

For Picasa users who don’t want to use Google Photos, Google plans to create “a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data.” You’ll be able to view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums from this new site, but you won’t be able to create, organize, or edit albums.

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