Google Photos has received several big updates recently, but now the app has a full-on messaging service that you can use to swap photos and carry on conversations between your contacts.
Google says this isn’t meant to replace or compete with other messaging apps, but instead make sharing photos and videos in Google Photos more interactive. That said, conversations in Google Photos look and act just like most other messaging services, including features like read receipts, emoji reactions, group chats, and more.
Here’s a quick look at the basic functionality of the new messaging feature, and everything you need to know about blocking and reporting any unwanted photos you may receive. (This is a photo-based messaging service, after all, so knowing how to clamp down on offensive and unsolicited messages is important.)
All of the following steps work on Android, iOS, and desktop:
How to start a conversation in Google Photos
Open a photo or video in Google Photos.
Tap or click the “Share” icon.
Select “Send through Google Photos” then “Say something” to send the file as a private message.
When you’re ready to send it, hit “Send.”
This will start a private message thread between you and the contact receiving your file.
Photos and videos sent to you can be saved by tapping the “Save to library” link under the message. You can also react to messages by tapping the heart-shaped icon in the text box.
How to block contacts in Google Photos
Open the conversation in Google Photos.
Tap or click the three-dot “more” icon at the top of the conversation thread, and then select “Block person.”
This will block the sender from contacting you in Google Photos, and will also add them to your Google Account’s block list. Similarly, any contacts, email addresses, and phone numbers you have already blocked in your Google account settings or Android settings will also be blocked in Google Photos. You can manage your block list by visiting this link on desktop.
How to report offensive material or harassment in Google Photos
If you receive an offensive or harassing message or file in Google Photos, you can report it by clicking or tapping the three-dot “More” icon next to the file, then tap “Report Abuse.”
Select the reason for reporting the file from the list provided
Select “Report” to send the report to Google.
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