Google+ Photos Get Pan And Zoom Functionality, Letting You Really Explore High-Res Photos

Google+ came out of its holiday slumber today with an addition to its Photo section of the service. The team has added pan and zoom functionality to let you explore small areas of high-resolution photographs. This comes after a hot-and-heavy feature push right before the holiday season.

Google’s social feature set has attracted artists of all types, especially professional photographers. Uploading photos is super easy, and sharing with Circles has been a way to get feedback on those pics of the mountains that you just took on a hike before sharing them with the public.

Here’s what Google’s Dave Cohen had to say about the release:

Google+ is full of amazing photos, and today we’re introducing the ability to pan and zoom when viewing photos from your desktop. To give these features a try, simply open a large photo in the lightbox, then:

– use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out
– click and drag to pan right, left, up or down

Higher resolution photos will offer more to explore, so we’re excited to launch pan and zoom just weeks after launching full-size backups of your Android photos (


The experience on an Apple laptop is pretty neat, or any laptop with a touch or trackpad. Afte you click on a shared photo, simply use two fingers to zoom in and out fluidly, as you hone in on specific pixel areas. For huge panoramic photos of the outdoors, this can unlock photos in an all new way for followers. The new Nexus devices with the latest version of Android support these types of photos, in case you’ve forgotten.

The box in the upper left-hand side of the screen allows you to see where you are on the picture itself, so that you can simply pan over to different areas to see what you’d like to see. This is an advanced feature, not something that would appeal to mainstream consumers, but one that will be enjoyed regardless. Basically, this wasn’t a must-have for Google+ Photos, but the team clearly felt like it was time to include it.

This is going to be a huge year for Google’s social evolution, as you’ll start seeing this functionality trickle out to other Google products as the months go on.

No, Google+ isn’t a social network, but Google is indeed now a social-focused company. Incrementally, feature by feature, piece by piece, Google is building a better platform to distribute content for all of its properties.

[Photo credit: Flickr]