Being a huge fan of the Google Picasa Desktop Client, from time to time I use the Picasa Web Albums to share a few photos with Friends and Family. In the past, one thing that always bothered me about the Web Albums was their mediocre security. Even if I made the Photo Gallery Private, the security built around the Album is based only on a Security Key in the URL. So once you gave out the URL, you just gave up the control of WHO or WHAT was able to view your photos.
So, I’m sure you will agree with me that what Google recently Announced is very exciting. With the latest Security upgrade, when creating a new Picasa Photo Web Album either from the Web Interface OR the Google Picasa Web App, you will be asked to select one of the following Album Visibility/Security Choices:
- Public – Great for PUBLIC photos
- Unlisted – Great embedding Photos into Blogs or Share Photos you don’t need to control tightly
- Sign-in Required to View – PERFECT for those pictures of the Kids you don’t want out on the Internet!
What if the person you invite doesn’t have a GMAIL account?
After reading the announcement, this was the first thing I tested out. I set up a new Photo Album, configured it to Sign-In to View and then invited my groovyPost.com email address using the SHARE feature of the Web Albums.
I have to say, although I was a little skeptical, the folks over at Google did an excellent job with this scenario. A few moments after sending the Share Invite to a NON-GMAIL account, the email from Google Picasa showed up informing me about an invite to view a Photo Gallery with a Link. When I clicked the “View Album” link it took me to a page and prompted me to log in. Under the Login Box was a “Create an Account” box which allowed me to create a new account USING my Non-Gmail account.
Once I created a Google Account using my @groovyPost.com email address (Didn’t know I could do that) I was dropped into the Picasa Web Album and was able to view the Photos I shared out.
Nice job Groovy Picasa Google people! VERY smooth implementation!