Yesterday I took a look at Google's Picasa Web Albums offering. I know it's been around for some time, but after encouragement from various people, it seemed like it was time to finally get some first-hand experience and see what it's all about.

In true Google fashion, all seems to be heavily optimized and very slick. There is, in fact, no doubt that Google's Javascript is second to none. Unfortunately the offering still feels very utilitarian.

When using Flickr, one feels more like one is mounting an exhibition of 'artwork' for the world to view; screen-furniture is kept to a minimum, the title is emboldened at the top of the page and each image is well spaced. Using Picasa Web Albums, the experience is more like merely 'throwing' a miscellaneous set of photos online; the thumbnail view is cluttered, images feel squashed together. Things just feel far less artistic and considered.

However, I am acutely aware that, for many people, the Google approach is far less confusing for viewing photos and better geared to - at the risk of sound like an internet snob - the average user. Certainly, when it comes to uploading, not having to tag photos makes it a much more pleasant experience.

For the time being, I'll probably keep both Flickr and my Picasa Web Album up-to-date and we can see how they fair against each other:

Please feel free to comment on your viewing-preferences -- it might affect which I decide to stick with in the longer-term ;).

Update: After much deliberation, I've decided to stick with Flickr for the time being and have closed down my Picasa Web Album. Better luck next time Google.