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Google Photos’ new sharing features are starting to roll out

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Google is now starting to roll out the major new sharing features announced for Google Photos last month.

The update adds a dedicated “sharing” tab to the bottom of the app and several different ways to share photos. For one, the app will now suggest photos for you to share and who you might want to share them with. The feature is largely based around facial recognition: if Google realizes you regularly share photos of a specific person with a specific email address, it will offer to send them any new pictures.

Photos’ sharing tab will also display a feed of all the pictures and albums that have been shared with you, so it’ll get a bit easier to look through shared photos, too.

But the really big sharing feature being added with this update is automatic sharing. The feature is optional, but those who want it will be able to have Google Photos automatically share some or all of their photos with another person. Using the feature, a parent could, for instance, have Photos automatically send their spouse any pictures taken of their children.

There are some obvious privacy risks built into automatic sharing, so it really only works in cases where you’re very comfortable with the person being sent the photos. Google’s facial recognition is pretty accurate, but it’s not flawless; it’s very possible some photos will be accidentally sent through. Still, it sounds really handy for parents in particular.

Google says the new features are being rolled out “this week.”