Google acquires photo platform Odysee

The team behind photo backup and sharing mobile platform Odysee is set to join Google+ after the search giant acquired the San Jose-based company for an undisclosed amount.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Google has acquired photo backup and sharing smartphone app Odysee, with the team behind the platform set to join Google+ to "continue to focus on building amazing products".

The Odysee cross-platform camera roll, which had been available as an iOS and Android app, allowed users to automatically back up photos and videos taken on their mobile devices to their home PCs.

The company, which announced the acquisition on its homepage and via a notification sent to its app users, told users it will cease operations on February 23.

While Odysee will be ceasing its existing backup service later in the month, all users' photos and videos that have already been processed by the system will remain available as a downloadable archive following the shutdown.

"We are excited to share that the Odysee platform team will be joining the Google+ team," the company wrote on its website. "Odysee's vision was to be the easiest way for everyone to capture unlimited memories and access them everywhere.

"Our deepest thanks to every one of our users. To help you with the transition, the Odysee service will continue till Feb 23rd, and soon after that all your photos and videos will be available as a downloadable archive," it said. "We are very excited to join Google where we'll continue to focus on building amazing products that people love."

The Odysee app, which has now been withdrawn from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, was the second product developed by San Jose-based Nimbuz Inc.

While the company raised $761,800 for Odysee in 2013, it is unclear whether the app received further funding, or what its user tally was before being pulled from the app stores.

Although the Odysee functionality may be rolled into the existing Google+ Photos service, the move follows rumours that emerged in August last year that Google has been looking at separating its Photos service from the social platform and launching it as an independent offering.

According to Bloomberg, sources indicated that if the plan was to go ahead, the Google+ Photos service would still work with the social network's users, but could potentially be rebranded.

Global Facebook-style popularity remains elusive for Google+, with Business Insider reporting in January that studies have shown somewhere between 4 million to 6 million of the network's 2.2 billion users actively engage, interact, and post publicly on the platform.

By contrast, research firm Statista estimates that the 2014 fourth quarter saw 890 million users visited Facebook on a daily basis, with daily active users accounting for 64 percent of monthly active users.

In September last year, Google acquired mobile and desktop polling company Polar in a bid to boost user engagement on Google+.

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