In a push to ensure copyright protection and publisher concerns, Google will no longer offer the “view image” option on its search engine.
CNET reports the new changes come after Google received criticism from Getty Images, which complained in 2016 to the European Commission that the search engine’s image search created too much ease for users to acquire images from its photography service without proper attribution.
As part of the new agreement made between Google and Getty that was announced Feb. 15, Google has made it harder to save images by removing the feature that once allowed users to view the image in isolation without the loading and scrolling of pages.
With users not able to directly save images, they will now be able to save them by hitting the “save” option, which acts like a bookmark and saves the image to their Google cloud service, viewable at your Google Save account.
With social media noticing the immediate change, many took to Twitter to air their irritation with the service change.
So the "View Image" button has been completely removed from Google Images
So uh— Tracker (@Tracker_TD) February 15, 2018
What's the point then, lads
So Google Image Search has changed for the worse, now you get "Visit" and "Save" as options (the latter of which acts as a favorite/mini bookmark)
"View image" and getting just *that damn image* is gone as a feature. Seriously, what?— Kung Fu Man (@kungfuman316) February 16, 2018
"Ha, we removed the View Image button! That'll stop those image nabbers!"
(someone shows Google you can still save images by right-clicking the image and clicking "Open image in new tab")
(Google orders removal of right-buttons from all forthcoming computer mice) https://t.co/EXRt395ArQ— Shane (@FourScore64) February 16, 2018
Did google just get rid of the "view image" button on google images!? are you friggin kidding me!? now its a button to push their cloud save service you've gotta be kidding me. this is unbelievably stupid, the save feature doesn't even let you see the full image! Idiots.— PieMan24601 (@PieMan24601) February 16, 2018
Minor change Google just made that's massively pissing me off: you can't go directly to the image file itself in Google Image Search anymore.
There's the option to "save" (which does not save) and to visit the page it's on, nothing else.
Arrrrrrrrgh.— Petya 🏳️🌈 (@PetyaLB) February 16, 2018
Real frustrated with google removing the save image button and just saving it to their own network thingymabob like I need to save it to my computer— Leigh 🌈 (@ItsLovelyLeigh) February 18, 2018
Google Search Liaison addressed the concerns regarding their reasons, telling users that the changes were designed to “strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”
For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week (see also https://t.co/a5uFldOcih). They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
For years, Google has long been facing scrutiny from photographers and publishers who felt the network’s image search allowed users “to steal their pictures” and the recent removal of the “view image” option is one of many changes implemented to ensure fair use and copyright protection.
Critics and social media experts also believe the move will help drive more traffic to websites with the intention of stopping users from deterring from websites that rely on ads for revenue.