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Picasa logo
Basic data

Maintainer Google Inc. ( more )
developer LifeScape
Publishing year October 15, 2002
Current  version 3.9.141 (Windows: Build 259, OS X: Build 306)
(October 13, 2015)
operating system Windows , OS X
programming language C ++
category Image management software
License Freeware
German speaking Yes

Picasa was an image management software from the US company Google Inc. The software also made it possible to present the images to third parties on the company's websites on the Internet . However, the property rights to the images had to be transferred to the company.

Story / setting

The program was originally developed by the US company LifeScape and distributed as shareware . In July 2004, Google Inc. bought the company from the US company Idealab and has since offered the software free of charge.

On February 12, 2016, Google announced that the support and further development of the software would be discontinued on March 15, 2016. The Picasa Web Albums were retired on May 1, 2016 in favor of Google Photos .

On March 26, 2018, Google announced that Picasa had also stopped uploading to Google Photos.


Picasa is picture archiving and management software. The pictures can be organized not only in folders, but also in so-called albums. These albums allow the images to be sorted thematically and correspond to virtual folders. In addition to the management functions, Picasa also offers image processing software functions, such as scaling, filters or reducing the red-eye effect .

When it comes to image management, Picasa does not change the image itself, but rather the metadata, even in spite of any write protection . For example, data specified in Picasa, such as tags, are written into the original image file (in the IPTC metadata). When editing images, however, Picasa does not change the original image file , it only makes a copy of it while keeping the source in the directory of the original. In this way, the program prevents quality losses due to repeated recompressing of the photos, but above all the originals remain unchanged, which means that edits can be undone at any time. This concept is also used by professional photo and film editing programs. An export function is available for further processing and forwarding, and there is a quick option to export the displayed image in the current processing status under a consecutive number that is appended to the original file name.

The software also provides its own import dialog. This imports photos from a memory card to the hard drive or another data carrier. It also offers duplicate detection, automatic deletion from the memory card and instant upload to Picasa web albums.

Image editing functions include cropping, aligning, red-eye removal, automatic correction for contrast and color, and retouching. Numerous filters can be applied to the photos. The changes can be assessed with a before and after view. The changes can be undone at any time, as the original files are not changed during these edits.

The support for Mac OS X systems is not based on native versions, but is instead implemented using the Wine compatibility layer , which receives extensive support in the form of hundreds of patches from Google. A Linux version was also implemented in this way in 2006. However, its further development was discontinued in April 2012.

Google expanded Picasa from version 3.5 to include face recognition and - in connection with Google Earth - geotagging. Picasa automatically finds faces and groups them into shots of the same person. The user can then assign names to these and thus store them in the “People” section. As a second innovation, Picasa integrates Google Maps and can use it to add geographic information to photos. Picasa supports the raw data formats of many modern digital cameras .

Picasa web albums

Picasa web albums
Picasa Web Albums logo
description Image host
Registration Google account required
languages German, 37 more
owner Google Inc. ( more )
Published June 13, 2006

Picasa Web Albums are a Web 2.0 service that (similar to Flickr ) is intended for the creation of online photo albums . Picasa web albums are operated as a web service, the programming interface of which is freely available to everyone, so that software developers can access the functions and content provided for their own software. There are also the utilities provided by Google for uploading images, which are supported on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X , but are not available as free software .

After a test phase, a user account for Gmail was required in order to apply for a user account for Picasa Web Albums. You can now use Picasa Web Albums directly after applying for a user account.

Google offers the following options for uploading the images (as of February 2008):

  • Picasa, image management software for Windows and OS X
  • an ActiveX control for Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • a web form that can be used to upload up to five images at once
  • an expansion module for iPhoto
  • an upload function on Android smartphones
  • an email with pictures attached to username. "secret word" @ picasaweb.com
  • a special utility for Mac OS X
  • self-developed software using the Picasa Web Albums Data API .

Without informing users in advance, Google integrated the Picasa web albums into its social network Google+ in 2013. Users who try to access their Picasa web album are automatically redirected to Google+.

Company rights to images

Initially, the provider obtained permission through the user agreement to market services from Google with the uploaded images, the exact text read:

"By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services. "

- Google Terms of Service

Since 2010, Google has undertaken to use the rights of use granted only to provide the Picasa service:

“Google does not claim ownership of any content that you upload, transfer, or store in your Picasa account, including text, data, information, images, photos, music, audio, video, or any other material. We will not use your content for any purpose except to provide this service. "

The license agreement for the Picasa 3 installation still says (as of February 2014):

"11. License to content granted by you

11.1 Your copyrights as well as all other rights that you have with regard to the content transmitted, posted or displayed by you in or via the Services remain with you. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you grant Google a permanent, irrevocable, worldwide, free and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly reproduce or make publicly available and disseminate what you have transmitted in or through the Services , posted or displayed content. The sole purpose of this license is to enable Google to present, distribute and advertise the services; it can be revoked for certain services as specified in the additional terms for the corresponding services.
11.2 You agree that this license also grants Google the right to make such content available to other companies, organizations or persons with whom Google has contractual relationships for the joint provision of services and to grant the content in connection with the provision of such services use."

Up to 1 GB is available to every user of Picasa Web Albums for free; additional storage space can be added via paid offers. Google+ users get unlimited space on Picasa Web Albums. This applies if the individual photo files have a maximum size of 2048 × 2048 pixels each.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. picasa.google.de ( Memento from February 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Google announces the end of Picasa
  3. Google announces the end of Picasa photo uploads
  4. Stephen Shankland, Stefan Beiersmann: Google publishes the first beta of Picasa 3 for Linux. In: ZDNet. October 6, 2008, accessed February 24, 2009 .
  5. Matthias Schwab: Official Blog: Spring cleaning… in spring! , Google, April 20, 2012, accessed March 20, 2017
  6. Marius Nestor: Google Stops Supporting Picasa for Linux , Softpedia, April 21, 2012, accessed March 20, 2017
  7. Alex Chitu: Picasa Web Albums. In: Google Operating System. June 13, 2006, accessed March 20, 2017 .
  8. a b Google Developers: Picasa Web Albums Data API , accessed on March 20, 2017, English
  9. Google Terms of Use
  10. Legal information about Picasa - your industrial property rights ( Memento from July 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  11. Pascal Herbert: Picasa with unlimited storage space. In: GoogleWatchBlog. Retrieved March 20, 2017 .