Google is stepping up its ante
against Facebook further, introducing more tools to help users edit photos and videos on its social networking service Plus.
Most of the 18 new features unveiled on Tuesday rely on technology designed
to identify the photos and videos that are likely to be the most important to the individual users of Plus.
Google Plus now has 540 million active monthly users, up from 390 million in May.
"At Google, we are looking at doing nothing less than revolutionising the field of photography," said Vic Gundotra, the company's senior vice president of social.
In Google's attempt to turn Plus into a photo-sharing hub, it added an assortment of automatic ways to manage images on Plus five months ago. The latest features announced on Tuesday build upon those innovations. Attracting more video to Plus is less important to Google because the California-based company already owns YouTube, the Internet's most popular destination for posting clips.
Google's new editing tools
can automatically touch up images or perform tricks such as erasing people from photos or creating animated GIFs - stringing together multiple images to make it seem like the subject of a picture is moving.
Another feature will create a short movie set to music when a user selects different videos and pictures to mix together.
Snapseed, a Google-owned mobile application that competes against Facebook Inc's Instagram photo app, also is getting a new filter to improve the appearance of landscapes and structures.
Google has been focusing on building better image-management tools because a growing number of people are posting videos and photos online on social networking services.
The company says about 1.5 billion photos are being shared on Plus each week. Facebook recently said about 350 million pictures are being shared per day, or more than 2.4 billion per week. Millions more are shared on Instagram, which Facebook bought last year.
Launched two years ago as an alternative social network, Google Plus still has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company's social networking site has nearly 1.2 billion active users.