Google Photos Adds a Memories Feature

Posted on September 13, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Google Photos with 4 Comments

Google announced this week that it is adding a Memories feature to Google Photos that surfaces photos and videos from previous years.

“These memories are your personal media, privately presented to you so you can sit back and enjoy some of your best moments,” Google director Shimrit Ben-Yair announced. “You might recognize this stories format from social media.”

That’s interesting: Ben-Yair is suggesting that Memories is similar to Instagram Stories and other similar social network service features. But this sounds a lot like the “Then & Now” and “Rediscover this day” features that have been available in Google Photos’ Assistant tab for years.

Google doesn’t address this in its post, so it’s unclear if this new Memories feature replaces the older functionality or will appear in addition to it. But according to the firm, you’ll see a new Memories pane at the top of the main Photos view in Google Photos. And it will contain circular thumbnails representing photos from this day one year ago, two years ago, and so on.

“We’re using machine learning to curate what appears in Memories, so you don’t have to parse through many duplicate shots, and you can instead reflect on the best ones, where the photos have good quality and all the kids are smiling,” Ben-Yair explains. “We understand that you might not want to revisit all of your memories, so you’ll be able to hide certain people or time periods, and you have the option to turn this feature off entirely.”

Google says that this feature will become available “starting today.” I still don’t see it, but that’s pretty typical for new versions of Google apps. Since I do use Google Photos daily, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Google Photos Adds a Memories Feature”

  1. Chris_Kez

    I think a key benefit vs. the current "Rediscover this day" feature is this ability to hide certain people or times, or turn it off entirely. You may not wanted to see an ex-lover or deceased child or any other painful reminder pop up as you're walking into the office or enjoying your lunch break or whatever.

  2. Chris_Kez

    I'd like to turn off the "Sharing" tab, or at least the notifications/badge counts.

  3. ReformedCtrlZ

    OMG I really hope you can turn this off. I already can't stand everyone thinking that "Stories" need to be in every app (looking at you FB Messenger). And I most certainly don't need it in my photo viewers main screen. If they want to hide it off in the Album or assistant views - sure, but when I look at the photos tab I want to look at my photo list, not go down a memory lane trip

  4. JerryH

    Oh, that "hide certain people" feature he mentions: they should put that into the Live Album feature! Today, Live Albums just do "include" (add these specific people). I would love a "but not with these other people" on that.