Google removes 'view image' button: Great for publishers, frustrating for users
Have you noticed that once you have a searched for a certain image on Google, you can no longer view image as Google has removed the 'view image' button. Now the new button in that same place says 'save' which doesn't save the image to your device. Google has released a series of tweets informing about the new process.
The change may be small, but it is going to have a huge impact on users. The 'view button' was extremely useful for users, since when you’re searching for a picture, there’s a very good chance that you want to take it and use it for something. Now, you’ll have to take additional steps to save an image.
Today we're launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they're on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
According to reports, “Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures, and the removal of the view image button is one of many changes being made in response. A deal to show copyright information and improve attribution of Getty photos was announced last week and included these changes.”
The purpose or intention behind such move could be either restricitng people from taking an image or leading them to the respective website of the image, so that the website can serve ads and get revenue. Also once on website, the users can be better informed about the copyright information.
The Search by Image button is also being removed. Reverse image search *still works* through the way most people use it, from the search bar of Google Images.— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
Although the move is seen as a great thing for publishers, but it will not be well recieved by the general users. Also, websites sometimes disable the ability to right click, too, which would make it even harder for someone to grab a photo they’re looking for.
Fortunately, there’s still at least one way around it: if you right click, you can select “open image in new tab” or “view image” (or whatever your browser’s equivalent option is), and you’ll still open up the full-size picture. It’s just a bit less likely that everyone will realize this is an option. And since the “visit” site button is now the most visible button, that’s probably what’ll end up getting clicked the most.
In addition to removing the “view image” button, Google has also removed the “search by image” button that appeared when you opened up a photo, too.
This change isn’t quite as big, however. You’ll still be able to do a reverse image search by dragging the image to the search bar, and Google will still display related images when you click on a search result. The button may have been used by people to find un-watermarked versions of images they were interested in, which is likely part of why Google pulled it.
While it’s good to see Google protecting photographers and driving traffic to websites, it’s still hard not to be a little annoyed by the changes. There are plenty of legitimate and legal uses for copyrighted images. And while it’s fair to ask users to do their due diligence by making sure they’re properly attributing photos, these changes really seem designed to stop images from being grabbed in the first place.