Integrations Journal



Zoom In On Your Google+ Photos With A New Image Zoom Feature

Written by  Angelo Racoma | 15 January 2013
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Google+Although not exactly a highlighted feature on social networking sites, picture zooming is a common feature on most photo sharing sites. While most photo sharing sites will require you to choose a standard size and then click from among different image sizes, Google+ just made it easier and more intuitive.

The new Google+ zooming feature lets users simply scroll on the mouse wheel to zoom the picture in or out for better viewing and appreciation of the image. This does not require any additional browser plugin, like previous efforts at attaining zoom functionality on the social network.

The Google+ zoom in feature is different as it is implemented on the Pictures page, where you can view uploaded images. There are no buttons or links to click on. While hovering over the picture you can scroll the mouse and the picture will zoom in or zoom out. As with most photo sharing websites, Google+ reduces the size of any picture larger than 2,048 pixels wide or high, on upload. On the viewing page, the picture size is relative to the available browser area. To see the picture details, you can zoom in for better viewing.  Pictures larger than 2,048 pixels can zoom in to their actual size.

There are limitations, of course. First off, if it's a large picture, the file size counts against your Google+ account quota. For another, the zoomed-in image may not have the same crisp details as the original. It would be a bit more blurred. Aside from some blurry images, earlier problems with this feature's implementation included washed out pictures, as if the picture were a balloon stretched larger than normal.

Most people, photographers included, probably don't really care about zooming in. The alternative of downloading a picture or viewing a larger version on the browser allows a better view of the image. However, one advantage of zooming in on a picture is the convenience of moving around and panning around without using the browser's sliders.

For a social media site, Google+ has attracted more than its fair share of photographers because of the use of its Circles. The photo information panel is also aimed at professionals and hobbyists who are interested in the technical aspects of photography. Zooming in is one feature which, so far, only Google has implemented. It is intuitive and allows for a more immersive experience. It comes in very handy for larger pictures, even if there is some loss of quality compared to the original upload.

One small issue, which may be the reason why this has not been implemened before, is the lag time waiting for the larger image to download. In order for this feature to work, the full-size picture has to be downloaded first, and then resized dynamically when zooming in and out.

While Google still has to iron out a few kinks, we can trust the search giant to put in their refinements as the product matures. Google+ is not exactly the biggest social network around, but it’s a good alternative to users who want a change from Facebook.

Angelo Racoma

Angelo Racoma

J. Angelo Racoma is a journalist and community manager with a keen eye for emerging standards and technologies. Angelo writes for ToolsJournal covering Technology and Startups. Besides ToolsJournal he covers startups for, Android and Google at Android Authority, the APAC tech scene for Tech Wire Asia, and enterprise news at CMSWire.

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