Two month-old Google+ has already broken a number of records in adoption (and likely desertion) for a social networking site and is growing like no other. One of the groups most prolific on the new site are photographers. As you may have read here on DPS and other sites, photographers have found great results in regard to interaction and connection through the site.
And with good reason. Unlike individual blogs, where you connect with one photographer at a time, Google+ lumps your favorites into one place. Not only that, the size and presentation of photographs has made it a haven for those wishing to browse quality images. In the Photos tab/module/dohicky on the site, there is an endless stream of new images coming in from your circles.
For those who have spent time browsing the Photos section on Google+, you will know what a time sink it can be. Depending on who you are following and the quality of their images, it’s not uncommon to notice a half hour has flown by as you constantly scroll your mouse wheel lower and lower, heading backward in time to see more great (and some not so great) photos. For those not familiar, the service runs much like Google’s current image search on google.com, but only shows images people in your chosen circles have shared with you directly or publicly. It’s a narrower focus (pun intended) and you can fine tune it by circling or uncircling folks.
As with Flickr, the ability exists for unscrupulous people to download photos without the owner’s permission. As Google+ does not, as of yet, offer Creative Commons license abilities as Flickr does, unless a photographer specifically states the images are free to be used, all rights to copy the image, outside of use on Google+ (which is covered by the terms and conditions, as outlined in this post by Jim Goldstein) are reserved by the photographer. While it is true any image displayed on a screen can be copied via a screen capture, having the ability to simply right click and save an image makes theft easier for the casual, often ignorant, photo thief. (note: you may need to turn off the ‘normal’ ability for Picasa web album viewers to download your photos as well.)
Will Google+ become a haven for stealing photos as Flickr has become? And will that stop you from posting photos on the site (assuming you are there now)? I’d love to hear your input in the comments section below.
Find the DPS writers currently using Google+:
Special Google+ photo note: By default Picasa Albums (which is what Google+’s albums run off of) turn on the ability to sell your photos when you create a Google+ account. If you do not want people to purchase your images, you need to turn off this ability with these instructions.