WordPress gained a very important milestone recently: you are now able to directly insert media (mediae?) from your Google Photos library.
That’s right: I can now directly insert this photo, for example, without having to download and re-upload into my media library:
Or this one:
I can even search in my Google Photos library, and Google’s AI will be at my service to find what I’m looking for. Sharing cat pics has never been easier!
The catch: this only works via WordPress.com.
For the majority of WordPress users this is fine and a seamless experience, of course, because roughly 137% of the Earth’s population uses WordPress.com and is has been the most widely used CMS since around 2000 BCE. (This plus papyrus.)
For us with a self hosted WordPress install and a conscience, well this is a bit of a change. I’m not going to lie, I was looking for the feature on my (self hosted) Multisite WordPress admin interface for quite a while with a
face before accidentally realising I have a never-before-seen admin interface on WordPress.com too. (The above image is of course an actual selfie of me during the act, just served up by the Google Photos AI. Just kidding, it isn’t.)
Bottom line: well played by Automattic! I’m not sure I like this implementation very much, but it definetely is a perfect implementation of steering me into the WordPress.com walled garden, because hey, this thing has statistics, so why am I wasting time with a crappy Google Analytics WP module? And so on.
I am hesitant to commit fully to the web interface on WordPress.com, but I suspect I’m the minority here, basically duplicating the channels through which I’m posting: one if I want to include pictures, one if I don’t. But surprisingly, this act of walled garden lock-in feels possibly the least intrusive one to me, amongst the Facebook and other Google services of our day… possibly because the benefit is so obvious and big.
So again: well done, Automattic!