Google Photos offers various sharing options such as live albums, shared libraries, and shared albums, but what if you want to quickly share a single image that you’ve just shot?

With Google apparently only now realizing that there isn’t a fast or simple way to do it from within Photos, the web giant has just launched a new feature that lets you fire off a photo or video rather like you might in a messaging app.

Explaining the new chat-like feature in a blog post, Janvi Shah, product manager at Google Photos, wrote: “You’ve always been able to share individual photos through the app by creating an album for a single photo and sharing the link. But we’ve heard from some of you that this could be a simpler experience, so now when you share one-off photos and videos, you’ll have the option to add them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app.”

Janvi said the new messaging feature creates a single place to discover the moments you’ve shared with your friends and family, and where you can keep a conversation going should the content that you send prompt an exchange.

The new messaging option lets you “like” photos and videos, and offer up comments about anything that comes to mind, and in just a few taps you can add the content to your own gallery.

Not a replacement

As if to stop everyone rolling their eyes and mumbling under their breath, “Oh no, not another doomed messaging app from Google,” (think Allo and Spaces, among others), Shah adds in her post: “This feature isn’t designed to replace the chat apps you already use, but we do hope it improves sharing memories with your friends and family in Google Photos.”

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In other words, don’t think of it as a messaging app. Think of it as a feature within Google Photos that makes it easier to share content and talk about it … a bit like a messaging app.

However you use it, Google will be hoping the feature will keep you in its Photos app for longer, removing the need to hop into another app to send content to friends and family. You can use it by selecting a photo, hitting the share button, and then selecting someone from the row of contacts under where it says, “Share in Google Photos.”

The new feature is rolling out gradually in the coming days for Android, iOS, and web.

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