Shared Links in Google Photos: Everything You Need to Know
Google’s new Photos app is off to a great start, as it features an impressive UI, some decent navigation options, and a smart search for locating images by places or the objects in them. But just like any other new product, Google Photos has its own quirks to understand. And one of its features that is likely to confuse most of the users is its specific way of sharing images.
That is to say Google Photos doesn’t always share a plain image, it sometimes uses a link. To be specific, when you share basic photos and collages via Google Photos app on your phone, you’ll be able to send just the image. But if you share more complex content like a story or movie, or use the Photos website, it will be shared using a goo.gl/photos link — and that adds some complication.
Still this Google Photos link-sharing has its own benefit, in a sense that it gives you more control over its destiny after you’ve sent the link out into the wild. Before we start discussing about effectively managing these links, here’s what exactly happens when you share a Google Photos link.
How a Google Photos link Works
You can either choose “get link” in the share menu, or share something complex to send Google Photos link off to anyone, anywhere. You can share the link directly to a friend over SMS, or drop it into a tweet. Facebook even shows a preview of the image when you post links to the platform, but it won’t happen in most cases where users will just see a regular link without a preview.
Now, whenever someone clicks the links they’ll get to view all of the content you linked. Whether it’s be a single photo or a whole album, it will be visible to them in the same way as to you in your own private library. Which they can subsequently download to their device. Moreover, if the other person is signed into Google Photos they have the option to click the link and add the media to their own collection.
Managing Shared links in Google Photos
As I said above, the best part about this photo sharing link system is that you get a full history and control over the destiny of your photos after you’ve shared them via links. To find the “Shared links” option, head over to the side panel of the Google Photos app or website and you’ll be able to see every link that you’ve shared out on the service, along with the date you shared it and a thumbnail of the content.
You can then copy any of the links you want to reshare, or choose to delete the link entirely. Deleting the links will, however, render them dead everywhere. Which means, the photos will no longer be available to anyone trying to access them through links.
What if someone has already clicked the link and downloaded the images before you delete the link? Well, there’s nothing you can do about that. So be cautious while sending or posting a shared link to your images in Google Photos.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.