Google updates photo, video features on Google+ social network

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Google Inc. is making it easier to edit and enhance photos and videos on its Google+ social service, stepping up efforts against rival Facebook Inc.

The 18 new features, unveiled at a press event in San Francisco today, include a new tool that automatically makes a movie from a collection of clips. Another feature enables users to erase unwanted parts of a photo.

“We are looking at doing nothing less than revolutionizing the feel of photography,” Vic Gundotra, senior vice president at Google, said at the event.

Google, owner of the world’s largest Internet search engine, is building out Google+ to attract users and advertising dollars from Facebook, the largest social network.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said about 300 million consumers visit the Google+ stream of content from friends, while the total users logged in to the service who undertake a social action monthly -- including surfers who watch a video on YouTube recommended by a friend or endorse a search result -- is 540 million. In contrast, Facebook has more than 1 billion users.
In a blog post, Google said more than 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to the social service every week.

The updates “aim to take a lot of the work out of messaging, video calling and photo editing,” the company said in the post.

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