By Alexei Oreskovic
(Reuters) – Google Inc on Tuesday unveiled new technology that creates polished movies, complete with music soundtracks, from collections of home videos and photos that users post on its fledgling Google+ social network.
The new features mark Google’s latest move to try and differentiate its 2-year-old social network from Facebook, the world’s No. 1 online social network with 1.15 billion users.
Google said on Tuesday that 300 million users visit the web page of its social network every month, up from 190 million “in stream” users in May. The company noted that its users upload 1.5 billion photos to Google+ every week.
“We want to be more than just a lightweight sharing service. We want to be the archive of your life,” Google+ Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz said on the sidelines of an event in San Francisco to announce the new features.
The world’s No. 1 Internet search company has rolled out a number of photo-centric features for Google+ this year, which take advantage of the company’s computing horsepower. On Tuesday, it showed a slew of new features that touch up snapshots with better lighting and focus, and even erase unwanted bystanders from pictures.
The feature automatically analyzes home videos that users take on their smartphones and have uploaded to Google+, automatically producing short movies. The technology combines the best clips of similar videos, adds music, and mixes in related photographs.
Other new features include incorporating SMS text messages into Google’s messaging service and new location-sharing capabilities.