Picasa Web’s New Homepage

Picasa Web’s homepage has been redesigned to emphasize the photos recently uploaded by the people you’re following. The homepage no longer displays all your albums, so you’ll only be able to see the most recent 8 albums.

“This new design centers around photos that are interesting to you. We wanted to give you faster access to the newest photos from your family and friends along with some great photos from the talented Picasa community. When you log in to Picasa Web Albums, you will not only see your own albums, but albums that have been shared with you, the latest public albums from people you follow, and featured photos from the Picasa community right on your home page,” explains Google’s Ping Chen.

While “recent activity” has always been a section on the homepage, now you can no ignore it. YouTube’s homepage has recently switched to a feed view, a stream of activities popularized by Facebook.

If you don’t like the new homepage, bookmark this URL: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos or click “My Photos” when visiting the homepage.

Multiple File Uploader in Picasa Web’s

Picasa Web Albums has finally improved the uploading feature. You can now select multiple images from a folder and upload all of them. After uploading images, you can add captions and delete the images you don’t like. It’s a long overdue improvement that’s especially important if you don’t use Picasa.

Another change is that you can now upload videos without installing Picasa.

Picasa Web’s new uploader uses HTML5 APIs, so it’s not available in Internet Explorer, where you still have to install an ActiveX control.

{ Thanks, Přemysl Brýl. }

Upload HD Videos to Picasa Web Albums

One of the benefits of switching to YouTube’s player in Picasa Web Albums was the support for higher quality videos. Now you can even upload HD videos to Picasa Web Albums.

“We’re happy to now support uploading high-definition (HD) videos, up to 720p, from Picasa to Picasa Web Albums. Whereas before you could upload, store, and share videos shot in 240 or 360p, now you can do the same for your 480p and 720p (HD) videos too.”

Here’s an example of HD video uploaded to Picasa Web Albums. It’s less than 3 minutes long and it uses almost half of the free storage quota.

Unfortunately, Picasa Web’s new feature would be much more useful if you could upload videos from your browser. Right now, you can only upload videos from Picasa.

While YouTube lets you upload videos up to 2 GB, Picasa Web’s free storage quota for all your photos and videos is 1 GB. Of course, YouTube lets you upload videos without installing an additional software.

Another issue is that Picasa Web Albums doesn’t offer per-file permissions, so you can’t share a video without sharing the entire album.

These are just some of the reasons why YouTube is a much better service for sharing videos than Picasa Web Albums.