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Limitations of Google Plus Pages

I'd love to like Google Plus Pages, but it is, at the time of writing, still poorly developed and inflexible.

I'm first of all happy that Google Plus finally became available for our Google Apps for Education domain. That's quite recent. Previously Google made it available only to Apps for Education college and university domains. Finally they understood that this was illogical and unworkable because Google Plus is becoming so deeply ingrained in their products, and anyway it is possible for Apps administrators to limit usage in accordance with Google Plus age restrictions (14+).

But the change to Google Plus has been a step backwards for organizations, particularly with regard to photo albums. Picasaweb galleries could formerly be given an organizational name. Now under Google Plus, the gallery is titled after the user. That's awkward for a company or an organization, and one would like to move the gallery to a Google Plus page. But that too is impractical. The major and insurmountable difficulty, is that it would be impossible or impractical to move all previous albums to a Google Plus page, since every album in the gallery would receive the current date. And the current date is unalterable. Only the photos in an album can be reordered. The albums themselves cannot be reordered. Google Plus photo albums are linked to posts, which might be fine. But dates for posts are also uneditable. That if one uploads photos for today's important event, but then wants to go back and upload photos for an event that occurred a week ago or last month? Last month's photos will be at the top.

There are further limitations. Google Plus Page photo albums are not based on Picasaweb. Picasaweb enabled fine tuning of the albums, and allowed also for an album description. These features are not there under Google Plus. Finally, the only way to upload photos to a Google Plus page is via the web interface. It cannot be handled by Google's successful desktop application Picasa, for example. Google does not provide, as in Picasaweb, cut-and-paste code snippets for linking to the album, or embedding photos or slideshows - though all of this may still be possible with a little hacking.

For all of these reasons, I'm wondering whether to abandon Google entirely for my organization's web archive, and move all the photos back to our web site. Formerly Google's service provided a nice repository. I would store all the photos on Picasaweb, and embed a slideshow when posting a new article on our site. Now that's less convenient.