Google Photos revamps Memories with vertical swiping and more video

Google Photos, a more useful app, will soon be able to do the same as other social media apps that shift their focus from video for social expression to collage-making. Today, the company announced an upgrade of Google Photos and its mobile app. This will allow users to better highlight their videos, create visual effects using photos set to music and introduce its own collage editor.

These additions are part of a larger upgrade for Google Photos’ Memories, which was first introduced in 2019..

A combination of Stories and Facebook’s Memories. Google Photos’ Memories allows users to look back at older photos. They are organized into collections at top of the main screen. Stories can often be found in social media apps. Google Photos’ Memories were upgraded last year using machine learning technology to find patterns in your photos. They also added Memories that highlighted events, holidays, and other types.

Now, Google is rolling out a new redesign to Memories. This introduces more video to the experience.

The service will automatically choose and trim the most important snippets of your longer videos by machine learning, Google claims.

These changes are coming at a time tech companies are seeing more users using video. Meta stated earlier this year that Reels made up 20% most of Instagram’s time and that video makes up 50% the majority of Facebook’s time. Similar trends are being observed in Google Photos. According to TechCrunch, video uploads have grown four times faster than those of photo uploads in the past two year. This is why Google Photos has decided to invest more in video tools.

The new version of Google Photos can also be used to add music to more Memories or set multiple still photos to music using its “Cinematic Photos” visual effect feature. Launched in 2020, Cinematic Photos uses machine learning to create 3D versions from your photos. It predicts the depth of each image and then animations a smooth panning effect. Cinematic Moments is a collection of stitched photos that creates the illusion of 3D.

A new set of features is included in today’s update that focuses on increasing creativity and social sharing.

This feature includes Styles, which adds graphic art automatically to your Memories by placing them onto colorful backgrounds. This feature was launched by Shantell Martin, Lisa Congdon and Lisa Congdon.

As Pinterest’s new collage maker Shuffles is in high demand, Google Photos has jumped on the trend and launched its own collage editor. Users can select a design, choose and edit photos, and then rearrange it using drag-and drop controls.

Image Credits: Google

Photo Memories are now available to be shared with family and friends, beginning on Android with iOS. More features will follow.

A smaller but more interesting addition to the Google update — one that was not mentioned in Google’s official announcement — is how you navigate through Memories.

While you can tap left and right to navigate between photos in a Memory, as with all Stories, when you swipe through Memories you’ll be able to swipe up or down.

This user interface design is a nod towards TikTok’s vertical video feed that has infiltrated many top consumer apps.

With Memories becoming increasingly video-heavy with this update it is possible that users’ retrospectives may feel more like private, personal TikToks than static Stories moving forward.

The updates are being rolled out to Google Photos and its mobile application.