Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Google Photos has an Instagram Stories feature in the works

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Summary

  • An in-development ‘My Week’ feature was enabled in Google Photos by activating hidden flags, giving a first look at the setup process.
  • Judging by screenshots of the onboarding UI, My Week appears to be an Instagram Stories-like feed that will be invite-only for a more intimate audience.
  • Users can create weekly highlights to share with others in a story-like format.



Google’s Photos app is more than just a platform that stores your photos. It boasts a range of advanced AI features, like Magic Editor, Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and more, alongside an option to access the platform and your cherished gallery on desktop. You can also lock sensitive media behind authentication or use a search option that makes resurfacing memories a breeze.

Alongside resurfacing media, the app also allows users to seamlessly share photos and videos with friends and family with shareable albums, which can be joined by others to collaborate. It seems Google has an eye on expanding this side of Photos.

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Five months ago, the first signs of a feature called My Week showed up in strings of code added to the Google Photos app. At the time, we speculated that it might be related to Google Photos’ Memories feature, but it appears My Week will function a bit more like a story in social media apps, albeit with fewer followers. While Google Photos isn’t typically viewed as a social app, many people use its family sharing features, so the feature could cater to a more intimate audience.

Code sleuth AssembleDebug managed to enable the new My Week feature in the latest version of the Google Photos app in a report for Android Authority. It seems to be much further along in development than the last time we saw it, and is now at least partially functional when hidden flags are enabled.


Your ‘My Week’ will be invite-only


Source: Android Authority

As seen in the screenshots captured by AssembleDebug, when the My Week feature does go live, it will show up on the Google Photos app as a tile on the top left that reads “Introducing My Week” with your avatar and a ‘+’ button. Upon tapping the tile, you’ll be prompted to set up the feature and pick out photos “that bring your last couple of weeks to life or just make you smile.”

Once set up, you’ll be able to invite other Google Photos users to your My Week (I know, that reads weird). Those invited would be able to view your weekly highlights in a vertical format, similar to stories on Instagram, alongside an option for them to like photos and even leave comments.

Your My Weeks will live on in the Memories carousel, and the same goes for the recipients.


Elsewhere, the APK teardown also indicates that Google might be relocating the Sharing activity menu to the Updates section, alongside a UI tweak for the Places section that shows a map with pins right at the top.

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