In what some are calling a move into Pinterest’s space Google has announced today that they are launching the ability to “Star” images from within a Google image search.
A few riders off the bat, for the service to work you must 1. be on mobile, 2. be in the United States and 3. be signed into your Google account on you device. Obviously with those restrictions the service won’t work in Australia without the use of a VPN, and unfortunately unlike some services that only need to be “initialised” via VPN this service only works when you are actively browsing from within the USA.
For those who are interested, we fired up our digital teleporter and gave the new service a look-see. From an image staring perspective the service works just as you would expect, search for an image on Google image search click to view it and a save/ star option is now available, click it and you get a confirmation and an option to “view all” of your saved images.
From there you can click to get access to your saved images, if not there is an option that pops up on the image search results once you have saved one image.
Once you are into your saved images the process to curate your folders, as Google is calling them, is also relatively simple, once you figure it out. Simply click on the overflow menu (3 dot menu) and a ‘select’ option will pop up, click that select all the images you want to add the same tag to and then you can either create a new custom tag or assign a tag you have already created.
Once you’ve created a few folders/ tags, you can switch over to that tab to review them all, or jump into one of you folders to see all of the tagged images.
At launch, the service is relatively basic and currently relies completely on users manually assigning tags to saved images. It remains to be seen if Google expands the service to auto-tag the images based on content and either your custom tags or AI determined tags, or if they add the ability to assign a tag as part of the initial starring process.
Before a service like this could truly be considered anything like, or in real competition to, Pinterest it would need to include a social/ sharing/ discovery option for others to view, comment and even possibly contribute to your collections, I mean folders. With the recent modifications to Google+’s interface and collections taking a much more prominent place in the overall UI and experience that could be leveraged for such a function, however, that’s wild speculation at this stage, there is absolutely no evidence that this is anything more than Google providing a way to easily bookmark or star as Google likes to call it, and sort searched images.
With Google recently expanding YouTube Kids to Australia it might be a little early to give up all hope of seeing the service launch in Australia. However, if you’re wanting to try it any time soon firing up your favorite VPN might be your best option.
Are you interested in the ability to save searched images? Let us know what you would want out of such a a service from Google.