Photo sharing is part of the reason social media blew up so quickly. Many people have a Facebook profile just to look at and post pictures. Needless to say, Twitter and Google+ would like a little of that action, and have made their photo sharing a lot more robust.
Twitter’s change is actually the smallest; essentially photos and videos posted through Twitter will automatically appear in your feed. Yes, there’s more scrolling in your future! This will only apply to Pic.Twitter photos and Vine videos, at least, as Facebook took its Instagram ball and went home last year. And users quickly figured out a daisy chain to get around it.
Google+, meanwhile, is basically just adding even more features in its relentless march to be the best place to post photos on the web. No, that is not some sort of joke: Google has dropped a ton of money in making Google+ both highly automated and fun to use. The Google+ app actually does a pretty good job of sorting through your photos, finding the ones that don’t suck, improving them (or letting you tweak them yourself) and posting them.
And now it’s gotten insanely granular; you can now share photos from your Google+ account with people who don’t use it. Just punch in their email address for an album or an image, and they get access.
These features are generally seen as attacks on Facebook which is, among other things, an enormous snapshot repository. But realistically, while neither network can ignore Facebook, it’s really more about features on the sites themselves; Google is just trying to get you to use Google+, while Twitter probably would still feature Instagram photos if Facebook would let them.
Notably missing, though, is the feature we really want, which is the ability to post in one place and have it pushed out to all our networks. Google+ refuses to play nice with anybody, for example, making linking your accounts a pain in the ass, and Facebook is probably going to try and cut off Twitter connectivity at some point. Just give it up, guys; we’re Archie, and you’re Betty and Veronica. We’re never going to choose.