Google to shut down Picasa
Google will shut down its photo storage service Picasa, directing users to Google Photos insteadGetty Images

Google is set to do some spring cleaning. The tech giant announced that it would be shutting down its picture storage service Picasa in the next few months.

Google said it would be shutting Picasa down in stages. In March, the photo storage service's desktop app will be nixed and two months later, in May, Picasa web albums will not be accessible or editable to users.

In a blog, Google said: "After much thought and consideration, we've decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos. We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products."

Users have been directed to the Google Photos app as an improved alternative to Picasa. The Picasa team said the simplest way to access photos already stored in Picasa would be to "log into Google Photos, and all of your photos and videos will already be there".

In other words, users' content stored in Picasa will be automatically transferred to Google Photos. This will ensure that users do not lose out any of their photos in the transfer. It is also a neat way to manoeuvre people into switching to or creating a Google Photos account.

The move has been long overdue. Although Google bought Picasa in 2004 to compete with its then-rivals Yahoo and Microsoft, with time and breakneck advances in technology, all three tech giants have had their hands full in trying to update their services to ensure user growth. Yahoo's recent struggle is proof enough of the need to keep things new and fresh in the tech industry.

Google's decision to re-focus on Google Photos may just be more than a prudent business move. Given the tech company's recent investments in AI (artificial intelligence) and VR (virtual reality), it may not be too much of a leap to assume that Google Photos could, in future, have some high-tech features. In Google's own words: "Google Photos is a new and smarter product, that offers a better platform for us to build amazing experiences and features for you in the future."