Google may launch its standalone photo service next week

Google IO Photos

Google is reportedly severing its photo sharing and storage entity from Google+ and unveiling it as a new standalone service at Google IO 2015.

Bloomberg reports that the new service, formerly Google+ Photos, will most likely feature editing tools, possibly even AutoAwesome, from Google+. It will also let users post directly to Facebook, Twitter, and other other social media, which Google presumably hopes will have wider appeal than its run as a Google+ service.

Some may see the irony in the separation, since Photos came about by Google bringing Picasa, a standalone photo editing and sharing service, into the Google+ fold.

It’s no mystery that Google’s stab at social networking hasn’t gone as planned. Even by bolstering its numbers with ties to existing Google accounts, Google hasn’t made the dent into Facebook’s dominance it hoped.

Still, this rumored separation of Photos from Google+ may be less about the dismantling of a struggling social network and more about increasing Google’s relevance with its social competitors.

Detaching Photos and allowing it to thrive on its own could give Google a greater foothold in social media by using other networks to its advantage, much like Facebook has done with Instagram. This also would free up developers at Google to focus solely on the finer points of its photo service. However, all of this is speculation until Google IO next week, so take it with a grain of salt.

Google IO 2015 starts on May 28 at 9:30am PST and 12:30pm EST