Social Media Reacts to Google's Newest Image Search Feature

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.

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 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.