Ever since Google Photos was unveiled back at I/O in 2015, the service has been a hit thanks to its simple interface, free cloud storage, and easy sharing features. But maybe those sharing features were a little too easy. As we wrote back in May of 2019, it was impossible to remove someone from a shared album once you'd added them. Thankfully, Google is introducing a more controlled way of sharing albums that's secured by Google accounts.
Detailed in a blog post this morning, the new default means for sharing photos will go through Google accounts. Sharing photos this way will limit their viewability only to those specific Google account(s) you choose to share them with, instead of the old method which generated a link that anyone could view without authenticating themselves. Today's changes also let you actually remove people you'd previously included in a shared album. It's worth noting that the old method will still be an option, so that people without a Google account will still be able to view albums you share with them.
This is a welcome change that will bring users more control over whom they share snapshots of their lives with. The old method was so insecure that even blocking a person wouldn't necessarily stop them from being able to see your photos and videos if they just visited the linked album from an incognito window. Google takes a lot of flak from competitors such as Apple for its perceived lack of respect for users privacy, and things like this can really hurt the public's perception of the company.
We’ll add it, thx for the question!
— David Lieb (@dflieb) May 12, 2019
After our story was published last May, Google Photos lead David Lieb tweeted that it was a feature the team was working on, and today he confirms it finally has begun rolling out.