Google is making it easier to control who gets to see your most cherished memories. The next time you want to send a Google Photos album to someone, the app will prompt you to invite a specific person or group of people to look at your photos and videos through their Google account.
The functionality builds on the direct sharing feature Google introduced in December to allow people to send one-off photos and videos to their friends and family and give them a place to chat about those images. Thanks to this change, you'll have more explicit control over who sees your albums. Once you send an invite, Google will let the person know through an email and in-app notification. They'll also be able to see the album you sent using the "Sharing" tab located at the bottom of the app's main interface. You can then all use the album as a place to talk to one another.
For people who don't have Photos or a Google account, you'll still have the option to share an album with them using a link. You can enable and disable link sharing as you wish, and Google gives you the option to decide whether other people can contribute content. When you remove someone from an album, any photos and videos they added to it will disappear as well.
As before, Google says the new functionality isn't designed to replace the chat apps you already use. However, it hopes the feature will improve "sharing memories with your friends and family in Google Photos." The company says it will roll out direct album sharing to all users over the next week. As usual, sometimes these things can take some time, so be patient if Photos still defaults to link sharing.