Google drops ‘View Image’ button as part of Getty agreement

19/02/2018

Google is removing the "View Image" button from Google Images, as part of an agreement between the search giant and Getty Images.

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The decision has come as part of a settlement between Google and the stock photo agency.

Earlier this month, the two firms had agreed that images from Getty's enormous archives would start appearing inside Google Search, but that was not the only part of the deal.

The "View Image" button would redirect users directly to the image's own URL, without visiting the publisher's page first; this apparently brought up privacy concerns, which led Google to eliminate the button entirely.

"For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week," the company said in a tweet. "They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value."

Google was also quick to say that, despite the clear inconvenience for users, the other popular Image feature — reverse image search — has remained.

Reverse image search allows users to drag and drop a picture directly into Google Images' search bar, and have the engine search for matching images on the web.

But critics said the changes were "awful", "user-unfriendly" and "degraded the product".

"This is a terrible idea... you find an image on Google Images only for the image to be nowhere in sight," said one user on Twitter. "Talk about destroying your own successful service."


Many suggested people should try rival image search engines such as Bing, which still have a "view image" button.

Others pointed out that right-clicking an image in Google's Chrome browser, and clicking "open image in new tab" replicated the missing function.

In a statement, Getty Images said: "We are pleased to announce that after working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognised and we have withdrawn our complaint."

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