Next up — Google takes a run at Flickr

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical Google feature checklist: Web-mail? Check. Document editing? Check. Spreadsheets? Check. Calendar? Check. All that’s left (apart from maybe a presentation app like Thumbstacks.com) is a photo-sharing site. Which is kind of strange in a way, since Google’s image search is pretty popular, and storing and organizing photos seems like a bit of a no-brainer for the Googleplex. The company even has Picasa, which is a photo-organizing tool, but one with no online component whatsoever — it does have the integration with Hello.com, a kind of instant messenger thing, but hardly anyone seems to use it.

That’s always seemed a little weird to me, as though Picasa was a three-legged dog. Not that there was anything wrong with it, it just seemed… incomplete somehow. Now it looks as though that missing piece will be coming soon, according to Google Blogoscoped, which spotted a tiny link on the Picasa home page to something called “Picasa Web Albums.” This is so obvious that I have no problem believing it is coming — the ability to take photos you have organized with Picasa and upload them seems like something we should have had a long time ago.

Will it offer all the same kinds of features as Flickr.com or Bubbleshare.com? Will it have tags and communities and Ajax editing and printing and all of that, or will it just be a giant repository like Photobucket.com or Webshots? Google certainly has the storage space for just about anything. Here’s hoping it’s at least a little bit more interesting than Google Spreadsheets. All of the hubbub about Google seems to be driving Mike Arrington of TechCrunch a little mental.

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